One thing that people need to learn when they come to college is something universally referred to as "respect." If you would like a formal definition of this, buy the Blues Brothers 2000 soundtrack. There is a song on this soundtrack by someone called "Aretha Franklin."
The biggest breach of the "respect" is making noise in the dormitory. Some universities, such as Washington University, have certain times called "Quiet Hours." No one I have talked to is able to explain to me why they are referred to as such. They should be called "Everyone Be Loud Hours." On a nightly basis, especially on nights when I am very tired, there is an unofficial event known as "Whose Stereo Is Best?" This involves every stereo on the floor being turned up to the point where the speakers noticably bulge at each note. And to make matters worse, none of them are playing the same song. Occasionally they will play the same song, but they will all be a half-second apart from each other.
Some people are considerate of others' need for rest. They realize that people like me are trying to sleep, so they proceed to yell obscenities at the people making noise, telling them to shut up because people are trying to sleep. I know this happens because I always hear them. I never yell at them, because I am trying to sleep. They never address their statements to anyone in particular -- they just yell them at everyone, assuming that those who they intended to cuss at will actually hear them and realize they are not being respectful. My mind always listens to them, even though they could not possibly be talking to me. Because they never say "The following is intended for the people playing the loud music: *$#%*@#*! etc." It keeps me from sleeping. But I appreciate their efforts.
Nightly, especially on nights when I am very tired, I experience this ritualistic routine: twenty stereos, each throbbing to the beat of a different drum, and twenty people screaming cuss words at the noisy general public. At least I have a door, which I shut.
You'd think after several consecutive weeks, there would be a definite winner of "Whose Stereo is Best?" It certainly seems to me that there already is a winner every night. One person on our floor has an unbeatable system, which is so loud that sometimes I assume God is singing, it's coming from everywhere. Actually, more often than not, God raps. But despite this clear winner, every night the losers doggedly, persistently come back to try again. They lose. They try again. They lose. They try again. Yes, it is an honorable maxim, "If at first you do not succeed, try, try again." Benjamin Franklin enjoyed writing honorable maxims. But the second part of his maxim is always omitted: "If after more than two dozen consecutive attempts you still do not succeed, you are doing something wrong." These people have apparantly not read "Wealthy Richard's Almanac," which contains the unabridged versions of Franklin's maxims. It was so lengthy that only rich people could afford it, hence the name.
Then there are the friendly people. These people all gather right outside my door and hold animated conversations, usually about nothing in particular. But whatever the topic happens to be, it is always very funny to the friendly people. They laugh. They are concerned about being respectful so they stifle their laugh. As anyone knows, stifling a laugh makes you need to laugh fourteen times as badly. So they laugh. Occasionally one will say, "We are being loud. We should not." Then they get somber and serious and quiet for an average of one minute.
Going to college is intended to open the minds of students. I am persistently required to close mine to tune out all the noise. Closing just the door doesn't work. In the words of Ben Franklin: "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. And cursed are those who deprive others of this opportunity."
© 1998-2021 Zach Bardon
Last modified 7.19.2019