Ahhh…. college

Oh, so that's liquid nitrogen pouring on me, then?

Certain events this week have me thinking about college.  And, don’t worry, this is a personal post but nothing sad or depressing.  I am not sure how interesting this will be to anyone who wasn’t there but I hope it makes you laugh, Ali.

The various pictures are all from the site: www.stonytbrooksucks.com and are undoctored photos from around campus.

I was back at Stony Brook for homecoming last fall — which was my first Stony Brook homecoming ever, I didn’t even go when I went there.  A lot has changed.  The bridge to nowhere is gone, which makes me sad.

First up:  Dumb things Stony Brook did.

Stony Brook University is supposed to be known as one of the best SUNY schools and have excellent science and engineering departments.  Yet the following statements are all true:

  1. The hugely expensive sports complex cannot be used, as promised, for sports events like track because the track is six inches too short. 

    Attack of the crasher squirrel!

    (Similarly, the pool, also built for outside events, was built backwards.)

  2. For years they had a ‘bridge to nowhere’ that was supposed to connect the library to the student union, one is across the street from the other but it failed to do so.
  3. One university president, in his desire to make the school more like USC, wanted a bell tower with a clock to chime throughout the day but the school had no money so he played a recording of chimes, complete with static, on the hour, each hour.  Stay classy, Stony Brook.
  4. Although hurricane season occurs every year at the same time, major roof repairs were done to many of the dorms in August.  Yes, one struck Long Island and yes, those dorms flooded.
  5. Two quads were listed as “G” and “H” on diagrams for the school during its construction, not being clever enough to think of real names, they stayed that way for more than 30 years.
  6. People always get lost in the library because when they wanted to expand it, they just build a new one around the old one.
  7. When I was in the student government, I was on a panel to improve the quality of our food.  We were asked to discuss our most memorable experience with the food (seriously, not “what was your best food?” but what has your most “memorable experience with the food” — well, that time we…).  Mine was when they offered us veal patties.  Being curious about how a state school was serving veal, something which I have not eaten since I was 10, I asked for one.  It was empty.  Fried air.  That’s where those crack engineering minds were spending their time.

Next up: dumb things I did:

These are the things that should comfort me whenever I think it is early senility or my most recent head injury causing me to forget something (like the time recently I ran into get my checkbook and ran out with my remote control).  I should take heart; I was always this absent minded.  When we were roommates (side note: my name is Alyson, my roommate’s name was Alison and one of my best college friend’s name was Allison, you can imagine how interesting that made things), I thought our outgoing dorm voicemail should be one of those “I am sorry, can you please speak up…?” deals, so I recorded one.  My idea and my voice and yet it still managed to fool me at least five times.  All of the roommates (we were in a six person suite), thought it was hilarious that I set my alarm clock ahead by several minutes to trick myself.  A few joked they were going to change it to screw with me more and one did — rather than being 15 minutes ahead it was somewhere in the range of 90.  For more than a semester I showed up everywhere more than an hour early. (In my defense, that was only mornings when I had something early.  Against me, I was in the student government that year and clearly, no job on earth carries the importance of that, so I did go into “my office” pretty early most days.)

Remember Gina’s ‘heap of hope?’ (Gina was not the most tidy suitemate and had a pile roughly the size of Everest on her bed.)  Yes, that remote control we lost for several months was in there.

How about Misha the cat from hell? Or how she kept leaping from the balcony?  Or how we had to hide the cats in the shower when they did room inspections?  Or Randi’s birds that shit everywhere.  

Not sure why, but back in college I liked to walk around singing the Ivory Soap commercial.  Not kidding.  One day I was in some building on campus and ran into Iowa (another suitemate) singing it.  She swore me to promise never to tell anyone but I think the statute of limitations has run its course on that one.

Anyway, when I went back, there were a lot of changes.  I don’t know what this says about me — maybe nothing, the olfactory system is supposedly one of the most closely connected to memory — but when I walked down the stairs of the union building it was as if not a moment had passed since you and I were there.  The smell brought it all back: The Rainy Night House, that student government scandal my campaign nearly caused (ironic and sad) and how lucky I am that we were roommates.

Love you.