Monday, February 05, 2007

Living in a Dorm v. Living in an Apartment

I've heard this week described as "the coldest night of the year." How that works, in a temporal sense, I don't really understand, but I believe it regardless of any such minor details. And for the first time since starting graduate school, I'm really missing living in a dorm. Specifically, I miss living in the dorm I lived in for four years: Random Hall. I don't miss having to share a kitchen with 13 other people (plus whatever friends and significant others might be using my oven and leaving a mess on my kitchen table)—it, in fact, feels really nice and grown up to not get angry emails about the dirty dishes that have made a nice comfortable home in my sink while the clean dishes become better friends with the inside of the dishwasher. No, no no, I miss the everso Random quality of it being below zero outside (remember, for example, that nice winter three years ago when the Patriots played in a stadium that had half its seats filled with snow?) and so hot in my room that I had to crack open the window. Random has this freaking huge boiler in the basement, which, well, puts out a lot of heat. Typically radiators are only kept on in the kitchens, lounges, and bathrooms—something's wrong with you if you're capable of sleeping an entire night with the radiator on in your room. I miss being able to walk around barefoot with short sleeves on, mindless of the mind-numbingly cold outside "real world." I miss not being afraid I'm going to wound up frozen to the toilet seat if I go to the bathroom as soon as I get home. I also miss not having to worry about such things as, how much will money will it cost me if I turn the thermostat up a few degrees?

On the other hand, I'm not exactly a big fan of doing dishes ... or being annoyed when other people don't do theirs ...


Stephen said...

I spent a week in Detroit one afternoon. Does that help?

I had a dishwasher once, but he moved out.

I had a roommate once who liked doing dishes. It turns out his hands were always cold.

A week ago, i woke at 4 am. It was clear outside, so i dressed, got out the telescope, and did an hour of observing. This takes two hours. It was 20 degrees F out. I wore two hats, a down coat with lots of layers below, pants, boots, and electric socks. I was warm enough that i didn't need to put gloves on even once.

Now then. 20 degrees is the good old days when it was so warm. Time to get the ski pants out.

Vincent said...

When I was really sick one winter, I made the mistake of turning on the radiator in my room at Random. It quickly got too hot, and I didn't have the strength to turn it off. (Heat makes metal expand. Now who's talking mumbo-jumbo?) I had to fill in a repair slip to get someone to turn the heat off.

The other really weird thing about the heat at Random is the heat exchanger that operates in the water pipes. In the winter, if you turn on the cold water after it has been off for a while, it initially comes out scalding hot. The effect is worse on higher floors (and on the 282 side). And don't even get me started on the showers, one of which on Bonfire sometimes had the property that if you turned either knob in either direction, the sign of the derivative of the temperature would be the same.

mollishka said...

Vincent: Yeah, I definitely miss thinking—in the winter—whoa, this water is too hot!