Wednesday, August 26, 2009

College Memories #5: Whirlpools and Wheelchairs

The saying in the training room was that if you were never hurt as a high school athlete you'd spend all your time in the training room in college, and vice versa. I was one of the lucky ones who got to spend hours in the training room each week for therapy and treatment.

My catcher and I used to joke that we'd be in wheelchairs by the time we were 40. I have 12 years to go, and I'm not so sure we were wrong! We used to get in the whirlpools after games to help with the muscle pain. Sounds lovely, doesn't? Two close friends hanging out in the whirlpool after a game...

Yeah, well, it's not. In training room terms a whirlpool is an ice bath. Yes, an ice bath. You know which body parts I had to whirlpool? My hip flexer, hamstrings and lower back. Guess what that means? You guessed it - sitting in the stupid whirlpool with who knows how many pounds of ice swirling around. I'm surprised I still have all my toes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

College Memories #6: White Bouquet

Our sophomore year, Amy and I decided it would be good to have an air freshener for our room. I can't remember if she picked it up or if her mom did, but neither of them knew of my sensitivity to floral smells (as in, I can't stand them and they give me a headache). I thought it would be ok, but the Glade plug in was just too powerful for our little room, even on the lowest setting. So, being the smart college sophomores we were, we unplugged it and set it on the dresser.

Set it on the dresser, next to the stereo remote, not thinking about the fact that oil is viscous and permeates just about anything meant to hold it in...especially something meant to let the vapors out. Yeah, that's right, it leaked all over the place.

Our room reeked of White Bouquet, the offending odor, for weeks. Finally we got rid of it. Until one day....

Amy and I both snapped our heads up from our books. What was that smell. Could it be? No, it'd been months. But it was! Where was it coming from? Not our room...let's go, we'll figure it out.

And like Toucan Sam we followed our noses and found that people at the end of the floor had a plug in air freshener in - you guessed it - White Bouquet.

Monday, August 24, 2009

College Memories #7: Local Restaurants -or- The Only Place Open Past 9pm is Shari's

For a small town, Newberg had some decent restaurants. We had Lucky Fortune, the good and cheap Chinese place where a HUGE plate of whatever was somewhere around $6. Cancun, one of the best Mexican places around, was always a huge hit. Checkers, an awesome sandwich shop, opened during my junior or senior year. Underground was one of 3 awesome coffee shops off campus, and my favorite of the 3. Mocha Milkshakes rule! And of course we had Jem 100, the local ice cream shop and burger joint.

But when you start getting into "fine dining," the options are slim. Yamhill Grill was where everyone went when their parents went to town, and Shari's was the one place in town open past 9. We spent a lot of time at Shari's...a lot of time. Because all on campus housing had floor hours, and because Shari's was the only place open real late (that is, until Underground opened our junior year), it was not uncommon to head there around 11 or 12 pm and find several booths or tables filled with "mixed company" GFU groups. Man I drank a lot of coffee at Shari's!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

College Memories #8: The Plagues

Freshman year we somehow managed to start a prank war with another floor. To be honest, I can't remember how it started. The part I remember the most is The Locusts.

Around 2 oclock in the morning, my roommate woke me up saying there were crickets in our room. I told her there weren't and to go back to sleep. She insisted they were in our room...and then I heard them. We turned on the light and found that there were many, many crickets or grasshoppers or whatever they were, in our room. Opening the door to the hallway revealed that several people had woken up to the same realization. We had been infested.

We found out that the boys with whom we'd been having a prank war managed to get into our dorm floor (they took the door to our hallway off the hinges!) and released 200 live crickets onto our floor. We were fighting those things for months.

Sadly, the boys weren't very smart. They forgot that their dorm and ours were connected by an underground hallway. The crickets traveled a lot throughout the year and had babies who traveled, who had babies who traveled. Not only were we fighting them, but all 3 floors of the 3 dorms connected by the underground hallways were fighting them - including the floor that introduced them to our dorm!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

College Memories #9: What Really Went on in the Theatre

The theatre was a bizarre place, to be sure. A lot of very strange things went on there. Some of the highlights...

  • During a camping trip for Quilters so that the cast could get an idea of what the pioneer women went through, one female member awoke to find the arms of a male crew member wrapped around her. In his sleep, he mistook K for his wife!
  • Many of us had blankets and slippers stored in a room in the theatre.
  • For a theatre major, there was no better place to sleep than in Wood-Mar. Nice and dark, quiet, and only other theatre majors could get in!
  • As other techies know, rehearsals get real old real fast for tech crew. Singing "YMCA" during tender moments or mocking the lines of a show was standard fare.
  • I spent many an evening reading by aisle light during rehearsal. Ah, the joys of trying to stay on top of academics during hell week!
  • Somewhere around here I have a picture of me in a hawaiian shirt dancing with a glow stick. 'Nuff said.
  • Initiation. After a show, all the newbies get to be Retarded Earthworms. During strike, we'd head out for pizza and a shrimp pizza was ordered. All newbies had to eat a piece. Some cried, some cringed, I dug right in! No on liked initiating me since shrimp is my favorite pizza topping!

Friday, August 21, 2009

College Memories #10: American Day in Paris

During Juniors Abroad (3 weeks in Europe, led by 2 professors, for which we got credit), we spent a few days in Paris. Sadly, none on our trip were much in love with Paris. It was hot, it was humid, and the Parisians hated us. One day, fed up with it all, we deemed it "American Day in Paris." We went to a movie, partly because we knew it would be air conditioned, partly because it was an American movie (Murder by Numbers with Sandra Bullock). It was a cheesy movie, but it was in English, so we were happy. Apparently it didn't translate well - there was a point when we all laughed but no one else in the movie did. I guess the joke didn't make much sense in French!

Later that night we had dinner at Hard Rock cafe. I don't remember who all was there, but I know it was close to our entire group, nearly all 22 of us. We were all so tired of Paris, so ready to move on. It was our last night there and we had a great ol' time. How sad is it that my fondest memory of Paris is the night before we left when we spend every waking minute being as American as possible?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

College Memories #11: A Tale of Two Bunk Beds

I will never forget this event because it scared the crap out of me.

Freshman year, we had these crappy metal army-surplus-clearance-sale bunkbeds. They sucked, hardcore. Most people bunked them because it made for more space in the room, and many people would then put the whole thing on top of cement blocks. Probably not the safest thing in the world, but college students know no fear.

I was sitting in my room one day, early in the school year, when suddenly I heard a crash. I rushed out to the hallway to see my across the hall neighbors with petrified looks on their faces. Their bunked beds had fallen. More accurately, the top bed fell off the bottom one.

Thankfully no one was hurt, but what a scare we had! Unfortunately, the school showed no sympathy and the official party line was that the students must have bunked them wrong. Ha! I only wish I had a picture of the type of feet used on these beds to show you how unsturdy these bunk beds were.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

College Memories #12: Mountain Dew

Somehow, Mountain Dew was a staple in our community. I'm not sure why, or what the draw was. Personally I can't stand it. But many people consumed copious amounts of the fluorescent yellow drink.

One of my teammates had a massive Mountain Dew obsession. So much so that she had a Mountain Dew banner in her room, above her lovingly stacked pyramid of Mountain Dew cans. Our coach didn't allow us to drink soda on game days, and Sarah was beside herself. The girl drank Mountain Dew like I drink coffee, which is to say like normal people drink water. One morning at breakfast before a game, I seriously thought she was going to have a panic attack! Although I must admit, the thought of giving up coffee makes me feel the same way.

Other friends of ours were also into Mountain Dew. One day E and I were over by Dathan's* room and noticed Mountain Dew sitting on the window ledge. We wondered what was up with that. Turns out, there was no room in the fridge and since it gets pretty chilly in the valley during the winter, they decided to use the great outdoors as a fridge. I always wondered if anyone ever tried to steal the soda from the window ledge.

*Dathan - our friends were Dan and Nathan, so Lissa and I shortened it to Dathan one year. As it turned out, Dathan was also a Biblical name, so we figured it was quite fitting for our small Christian college.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

College Memories #13: Comment Cards

Whenever people say they aren't going to bother to leave a comment card for something because it won't do any good, I flash back to my college days.

Our freshman year the college contracted with a new food service company, Bon Appetit. We, of course, quickly nicknamed the dining hall "The Bon(e)." As in, "Hey, are you ready to head to The Bone?" Or, "Meet me in front of The Bone after class." The Bone really wasn't that bad in the food department (with the exception of their vegetarian options, which is another post entirely). What we all really loved, though, is the fact that they actually listened to us.

Comment cards were available in the dining hall and, being the sassy college kids we were, we used them often. We complained about the food, begged for other things, and asked them to please never make Eggplant Parmesan again. Oddly enough, they listened. One time the tomato soup, which was usually very good, was so peppery it was nearly inedible. We wrote a card about it...and got a comment back. "Talked to Roberta, she'll lay off the pepper next time." Or we'd ask for a specific food to make a more frequent appearance, and suddenly, there it was!

So anytime you think asking for something via comment card is a waste of time, remember my story. It really can do some good.

Monday, August 17, 2009

College Memories #14: Fire Drill

We all remember the fire drills of days long ago. You know, 3rd grade, the bell goes off, everyone files outside. You wait for the principal to let everyone in, and then you return to your classroom and it takes the teacher several minutes to get everyone settled down and back to work.

Well, once you get to college the fire drills are pretty much over. The scheduled ones, anyway.

The alarms in some of the dorms on campus were quite sensitive. Someone burned popcorn? There goes the fire alarm. Get the hairdryer too close to your hair? Everyone shuffles outside. It was with pretty regular occurence that we were heading outside in our pajamas because someone set the fire alarm off accidentally while making some kind of food. Once in a while, the fire department would even show up!

I remember one time, late at night, we were all outside and E was frantically trying to study for a biology test. There we were, standing in our PJs in the wet parking lot, and she made me quiz her with her flashcards. Another time, Bwalya leaned out her window in the dorm right across from ours yelling, "I just burnt some popcorn, don't bother to go outside!!"

I'm sure other GFU alums have their favorite fire alarm stories. I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

College Memories #15: Living Peruvian Style

Back to Senior year. Back to the townhouse. Amy and I were at work, Annelies was at home. On the way home from work, Amy called Annelies to see what she was doing.

Annelies: Just sitting here in the dark.
Amy: Why?
Annelies: The power went out.
Amy: Oh. Really? I wonder why? (the weather wasn't stormy, there was really no reason for the power to have gone out)
Annelies: I don't know, I was just vacuuming and suddenly the power went out.
Amy: were vacuuming? Is everyone else out of power?
Annelies: No, just us.
Amy: Did you check the breaker?
Annelies: What's that?

Annelies grew up in Peru, and as it turns out the power in Peru often goes out for no reason. When the power went out while she was vacuuming, she simply assumed it was like Peru - for no reason! What she didn't realize, and what we later taught her, is that she tripped a breaker and all she had to do was flip it back. Voila! Instant lights!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

College Memories #16: Fulton B Elkston

Oh Fulton, how I loved thee. Or actually, how Erica loved thee.

Erica, my good friend and roommate, transferred to Fox for our sophomore year. She lived on our floor and I saw her using scrapbooking tools so of course I had to go meet her. We hit it off, and she started hanging out with Amy and I.

At the same time, Amy's and my friend Chris had moved into an on-campus house with a bunch of other guys (Brandon happened to be one of them). Chris was bugging us to come see him in his new digs, so once we got settled in, we headed over to see him and meet his roommates. As it turned out, we all hit it off and ended up hanging out together most of the year.

Erica is a beautiful redhead, which means that she gets a lot of attention. Unfortunately, it isn't always attention she wants. At the same time, she also happened to have a ring that her mom had made for from her aunt's gemstones, 3 of which were diamonds. This band, when worn on the ring finger of her left hand, looked very much like an engagment ring. At a school like Fox, where the motto is "ring by spring or your money back!" well, it wasn't a hard leap to take.

After a few days? weeks? months? (E, do you remember?!) of unwanted attention from certain male members of our school (and of our group, if I'm honest) - and after countless people asking "are you engaged?!" - we decided Erica needed a fiance. Along came Fulton.

What you need to know about Fulton is....he doesn't exist. Never did, except in our imaginations. Fulton is the road that runs near the house where our friends lived and where we spent a lot of our time. If I remember correctly, "he" was born when, for the millionth time, someone asked if Erica was engaged and we made up this story. Of course we needed a name, and the name that popped to mind was that of the street nearest us. Over time, we made up a whole person (fairly certain Brandon is to thank for the B. Elkston part of the name), giving him a personality and life story.

Unfortunately for Erica, the story didn't work to dissuade all of her potential suitors (especially since one of them was in on the joke) but we did have a good laugh over it and still bring Fulton up now and again.

Friday, August 14, 2009

College Memories #17: Atomic Train

This is one of my favorite memories, yet it's such a simple thing and likely a "had to be there" story.

My freshman year, a bunch of us were watching a movie (in the Sutton basement TV room, for all you GFU alum). As we were watching it, we realized why we'd never heard of the movie, Atomic Train before. It was horrible! Originally a made for TV mini-series, it's 168 minutes long but felt like it took about 6 hours. Every single disaster possible occurred in this movie. One guy died, then came back as a different character later in the movie and died again!

If ever you are in need of a completely brainless, so-bad-it's-good movie for watching with a group of friends, Atomic Train is just the ticket. Otherwise, avoid it like the plague!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

College Memories #18: Dishwashing Detergent

This is a story I'm going to tell on myself. And before I tell the story, I feel the need to state my defense:

1) The powder detergent had gotten shoved to the back of the cabinet where I couldn't see it and
2) Liquid dishwasher detergent DOES exist.

And now, my story.

My senior year three of us lived in a townhouse. It was a great situation; 1100 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, nice big kitchen and living room, laundry room, and it was cheap. We all moved in over the summer, but my roommates moved in before I did. Ricky and I were on vacation when they moved in, so when I got back I moved in and all was well.

After dinner one night (maybe even the first night I moved in), the dishwasher was full so I decided to run it. I called Amy and said I couldn't find the detergent and she said "it's there, it's the Kirkland brand in the huge container." Ok, cool - I pulled it out, poured some of the orange Kirkland liquid from the huge container into the dishwasher and set it to run. The whole time it didn't feel right, but it was all I could find.

Suddenly, bubbles started pouring out of the dishwasher. Whoops! The orange liquid was the stuff for washing dishes in the sink and apparently it creates bubbles of ginormous proportions when used in a dishwasher. I opened it and started scooping bubbles into the sink, thankful that one roommate was in bed and the other wasn't home...only to hear the door creak open.

Amy walked into the kitchen to see me with an armful of bubbles and I'm sure a look of "don't even ask" on my face. We had a good laugh about it, found the right container, and set the dishwasher to run again. Let me tell you, those dishes were extra squeaky clean!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

College Memories #19: Charging for TP

Our junior year, there were 4 of us living in an apartment built for 3. According to the school, however, it was plenty big enough for 4 (hah!). One of our roommates was in her own world, marched to her own get the idea. E, C and I would frequently come home to a group of people we'd never seen before in our living room watching a movie at the invitation of K. She meant well, but it was always a random group, people she barely knew, and usually freshmen. In her attempt to be hospitable she would offer them food and drink...which was great, except that she would offer them our food and drink! Needless to say, these random movie parties became both an aggravation and a joke.

One night, after stumbling upon such a party in our apartment when all E and I wanted to do was sit in the stillness of our living room and veg, I was feeling ornery. Obviously E was as well because she went along with it. One of the guys asked to use the restroom and we told him where it was, then I added, "but it's a quarter."

The look of shock on his face was priceless. Oddly, he believed me! We kept the charade up for a while, with talk of how expensive the water was and how toilet paper was going up in price, and we had him going for quite a while. Finally someone, though I can't remember who, filled this poor freshman lad in on the joke.

The best part of the whole thing? We didn't pay for the water OR the TP. The school did!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

College Memories #20: Streakers

Erica, my friend and roommate from college, came to visit last week. It was so fantastic to have her here. We ended up staying up waaaaay too late each night talking, very much something we did in college. In fact, at one point I asked her, "how'd we manage to be such good students when we were roommates?!" It was so great to reminisce, though, and to have old memories come to the surface for the first time in a long time.

Because I want to remember these things, and because a lot of them are funny, I've decided to share them here. My alma mater starts school in 20 days, so I'm going to post a memory each day for the next 20 days. A count down, if you will, to when school starts. They are in no particular order, so don't take the numbering as any indication of where in my heart I hold these memories.

With that....

#20 - The Streakers

Erica and I had the joy of witnessing streakers not once, but twice, in our tenure as roommates.

The first time was on campus. Now, those of you who know George Fox well know that this is a bit, um, out of the ordinary, shall we say? You see, George Fox University is a Christian college, complete with floor hours and promises to live life a certain way. Like, we had to write a statement promising not to drink while enrolled at Fox, regardless of age, and we had to promise not to have premarital sex. Not that those written statements stopped everyone, but it certainly helped weed out those who just wanted to party hard-y in college and allowed the college to kick out those who didn't follow the statement.

Given that, you can imagine how bizarre it was to see two boys running through the parking lot of our on-campus apartment complex this night, wearing nothing but their socks, shoes and handkerchiefs to cover their faces! It caused quite the commotion - especially since Erica's mom was visiting and they happened to be outside getting something from the car.

A few months later while in Europe on a school sponsored trip, we were sitting in Salzburg, Austria with a couple of other students and the two professors leading the trip, enjoying an apple strudel and the night air. Suddenly, two completely naked boys came flying by. Of course we all started laughing, and then one of the professors yelled out, "I saw The David last week, boys, I'm not impressed!" which, of course, caused us to die laughing. Because really, who expects Steve Grant, head volleyball coach and PE professor to yell that while eating dessert with students?

That's all for today. Tomorrow, look for #19 - Charging for TP

So it's been a couple of months...

Wow. I'm sorry I've left you in the lurch for so long. Yikes. Not sure how I let it go for two months. Actually, I do know. Here it is, in a nutshell:

June - rehearsals for Wizard of Oz, getting ready for the Chinese kids, packing up my office at school and bringing it home.

July - Chinese kids and Wizard of Oz, all at the same time. Insanity reigned.

August - Starting a bit of a pity party because I have no job to begin gearing up for. Started a new (temporary) job with Stand for Children.

And now here we are. Whew. Glad that's taken care of. And in just a minute, I'm going to regale you with tales from college!