I’m just one test, group presentation, article, writing portfolio and blog post away from saying so long to my first year – junior year – at Mount Mercy. Easy schmeezy compared to what the last couple weeks have been like.
I thought I’d use this post to show you around a little – not what the MMU brochure shows you, but the grit lurking below the manicured surface. (Mostly I just wanted to take photos). Even if you don’t give a rat’s hiney what a day in the life of me at school looks like, indulge me and come along anyway. It’ll be fun.
My first semester’s classes were primarily held in Warde Hall, which was built in 1924 as a convent. I’m sure it hasn’t been remodeled since. Once I had the lay of my new classes and schedule, survival instincts kicked in. I’d need to secure the basics – bathrooms and coffee. (Do you suppose there’s a correlation?) Warde has neither. Nuns only come in one gender, so they didn’t need many restrooms. Plus, back in the day sisters were apparently the size of gnomes, which explains the size of the stalls. The bathrooms in Warde are so head-shakingly amusing, I knew you’d appreciate an insider’s glimpse:
Don’t be shy…come on in. Back in the 1920’s female humans were known as “LADIES.” We were
Heating registers are also a nice thing about Warde. It reminds me of my childhood. I’m not sure why the bathrooms and the heating registers they contain are baby-girl lavender. It’s certainly an under-represented color, so I guess it’s a step in the right direction for pastel-equity.
And the stalls? Maybe twenty inches wide, if I’m generous. And the lavender door hits right about where an airplane seat does when you’re flying economy class. Like economy class, there’re neither snacks or cocktails. But you can have all the free toilet paper you like.
Speaking of toilets, we do have those and they are charming, you have to admit. Being in the arts building, they have a certain sculptural sensibility that transcends purpose and place.
And for the safety conscious, there is a stylish fire alarm. Of course it’s nearly twelve feet off the floor. I think I could stand on top of the counter, stack my book bag on my purse as a step stool, then jump a little and I might be able to…to what? I have no idea how to work that thing. There’s no glass window to break and no lever to pull. Did I mention it’s nice to look at?
Enough of the little English major’s room. On to some of the things that made me miss Warde Hall when my second semester was scheduled mostly in the nice new building with modern bathrooms and a coffee shop….
If you walk there from the outside, you get the glossy brochure version of Mount Mercy…
Finally, I’ve been wondering about something all year – why a secret high voltage danger room on a mild-mannered midwest college campus? Is this where the students in several of my classes who inexplicably “dropped” never to be seen again disappeared to? It’s a mystery novel waiting to be written…
Until someone does so and then assigns it to be read in its entirety by the next day, I’m planning to have a summer that’s restorative of home, heart and relationships.