Dorm is where the heart is

Just a couple weeks back, in the caffeine-enhanced, sleep-deprived haze I prefer for writing papers, I took a moment (as the room was spinning too much to focus on the computer screen) to contemplate my surroundings (mostly with the aim of creating a strategy to pack up for the imminent return to Michigan), when it occurred to me (for the hundreth time) that the KSU Tri-Towers just doesn't have that sense of communitas that existed our much beloved UT Quad. Having dimissed most of the good ideas (including Harris's 500-person limit and Cooper's Hypothesis), I was stilling looking for the explanation of why nobody knows anybody at KSU. Then it occurred to me one critical difference between the Quad and the Tri-Towers -- I've been here eight months without a single fire alarm going off. Fire alarms!

Yeah, that was it. The Quad's sense of being had less to do with physical structure and population ratios than with shared experiences. We had those damnable too-early/too-late false crises on a regular basis to drag us out for a tribal gathering and give us something to grumble about. So there, that's what KSU needs -- more alarm ringing. Pleased that I'd finally decyphered the secret of the dorms, I put the term paper away (believe it or not, I was working on a paper that wasn't due the next day) and went to bed. It was 4 a.m., after all.

Then the fire alarm went off at 9 a.m. That's what I get for tempting fate.

Besides proving that I'd lost some of my old dorm habits (like keeping my keys is an obvious location), it also showed I was dead wrong about the grumbling hypothesis. Standing around downstairs, nobody in the crowd talked to anybody. They just stood there and mumbled to themselves. So much for that theory.

Anyway, on Friday, this anthropologist is heading back to the Evil Island, which is a scant 50 miles (or so) from the Glass City. I might visit Toledo or I might not. E-mail to here is being bounced to CompuServe (ick), so I'm always reachable. Not that anyone ever writes. There's no real point to this message, of course. I just wanted to tell the story.

(My new theory would be that Kentfolk are just anti-social, except nobody at KSU grew up in Kent. Maybe I'll go Pop-Structural and say it's a mental defense mechanism against getting attached to people who might die in another shooting. Of course, to test that theory, I'll have to shoot some people. Maybe the College Republicans.)

Mailed at 09:24:45 PM EDT on 11 May 1994 from Kent, OH