Friday, February 02, 2007

My Story: McGregor Hall

This past weekend, I got an e-mail from one of my former roommates at Montreat College. While doing the usual "catching up on what we've been up to over the past few years" routine, I had occasion to look through some old blog posts (I seem to be doing that a fair bit recently. Must be something about bringing in the New Year). I see that I've mentioned being a Resident Assistant, but that I never said more about that time. Allow me to rectify that error....

After my third year of college, which saw me juggling the roles of actor, editor, and politician simultaneously, I was ready to take a bit of a break. But I've always been much happier being "involved" than I have been just sitting around, and so I applied for the role of Resident Assistant in my dorm, a role that several of my friends (including the one that I heard from last week) had held at various times in the previous two years. Without exception, every one of them was glad that they weren't filling this role any more, but I didn't take the hint.

As it turned out, I almost didn't get the position, because I had only intended to spend a half a year more at the college, having accumulated enough credits to graduate early. They wanted to have RAs that could commit to a full year, and I could certainly understand their position. But sometime in the middle of the summer, I got a phone call indicating that they were short on RAs that year, and that the college was willing to offer me the position even if I could only stay for half a year.

Even better, I was assigned the dormitory that I had already been living in for the previous two years, which was arguably the best dorm on campus. McGregor Hall was, at the time, a kind of an "honors dorm," which only upperclassmen with a certain GPA could live in. It also had the peculiar distinction of being the only "co-ed" dorm on campus (one arm of the L-shaped building housed men, while the other arm housed women).

While it would be a lie to say that the year went by without incident (there was one particularly stressful night during which my counterpart in the dorm had to deal with an incident of drunken partying that could well have ended far more tragically if she hadn't been available), it would also be a lie to say that I was too heavily involved in resolving such major incidents. Although I did have some minor counseling responsibilities, mostly I was available for making sure that people's rooms were maintained with light bulbs and toilet paper, and that requests for repairs were sent to the appropriate channels. Not all that different from what I do nowadays, come to think of it....

In fact, I ended up staying the whole year, in large part due to having started a relationship at the beginning of the year. But I've already talked about that turned out.

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