Shawn Calls; Living with Friends in Krueger; Funny Library Stories–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–September 1993, Part 2

Living with Friends in Krueger

Krueger was much different from the suites: The laundry room was in the basement and full of machines.  The machines were now computerized, so you could run them for only as long as you needed to and no longer.  The dryers and washing machines all cost 75 cents now.

I didn’t have to go outside in all kinds of weather to do laundry.  I could put my bike in the laundry room, as other people did, though I never actually used it (I told people it was a bad winter).

There was a small, closet-like kitchen, and vending machines in the lounge with chips, candy and pop.  Though the rooms seemed more soundproof, late at night I often heard squeaking beds, despite trying to drown them out with the fan.  The dorm could get noisy at times, especially when the Pi-Kapp next door turned up sexy rap songs which I hated.

First floor Krueger had few residents, since the lounge divided it up.  Big doors separated the lounge from the two bedroom wings.

The only people living on the right side (when you face the wall opposite the outside doors) were the Hall Directors, a young couple.  I believe they lived in a suite of rooms, made up of at least two regular bedrooms.  Opposite their door was the R.A. office.

On the left side were about six rooms.  Clarissa and I were in one room, an obnoxious Pi-Kapp and her sweet roommate (who had a sex light over her bed) lived in the room to our left, and Rachel lived in the R.A. room on the opposite wall, next to the kitchen.

The Pi-Kapp’s room was closest to the left corner; Cindy had the room adjacent to theirs for a little while, before she moved in with Catherine; Carol and our Bulgarian friend lived to our right, and Catherine’s room was to their right.

Most of us had dry erase message boards attached to the doors.  Clarissa got us a big, white one.  We felt fashionable.

I apparently told Catherine about the “Happiness Patrol” episode of Doctor Who, a corny thing with one good part: Whenever anyone said, “I’m glad,” another said, “I’m happy you’re glad.”  The first said, “I’m glad you’re happy.”  Or if someone said, “I’m happy,” the second said, “I’m glad you’re happy,” and the first said, “I’m happy you’re glad.”

So Catherine and I began an amusing war on my message board: One of us would write, “I’m glad” or “I’m happy,” and the other wrote the appropriate response.  Only ours extended to, “I’m glad you’re happy I’m glad” or “I’m happy you’re glad I’m happy you’re glad I’m happy you’re glad.”  Sometimes this took up the entire board before we finished.

Another great thing about that corny episode: the premise that it’s okay to be sad sometimes.  Sometimes I feel like I’m being judged by the Happiness Patrol.

Krueger lounge was big, with a piano, lots of waiting-room type couches, and a TV.  You’d go down steps to the front door.  Visitors had to use a phone on the outside wall to call up residents of the hall to let them in, since the doors were always locked now.

The side doors were double-locked at night so even the residents couldn’t use them.  If you tried, an alarm sounded.  Not only was there the S– rapist a few months before, but someone let a scary man into Krueger who caused what the R.A.’s only called “an incident.”  (They refused to go into more detail.)

After they started locking the front door at all times, it was common for residents to let in whoever was going in the dorm behind them.  But now, they were forbidden to do this.  Each resident had to let herself in; all non-residents had to call a resident to let them in.  It’s just like the safety rules at an enclosed ATM.

I don’t remember if we had a “loud floor” that year.  I do know it wasn’t mine.

Astrid lived in a room on the third, top floor–and Krueger had no elevators.  Astrid was Clarissa’s friend; they met sophomore year, Clarissa told her about InterVarsity, and she started coming.  She eventually became part of the Group.

Over the summer, somebody donated money to build improvements on Jubilee Hall, and the name was changed to William A. Krueger Hall.  So we had two Krueger Halls!

We had to say “KREE-ger” for the new Krueger and “KROO-ger” for the old–but usually, we rebelled and continued calling Jubilee “Jubilee.”

In the directory, Jubilee was referred to as WAK, or William A. Krueger Hall.  I found this funny because “wak” was rap slang for (I think) “bad,” and because it sounded like “whack!”

When my schedule allowed me to sleep late in the morning, which was often, I stayed up late at night (usually till about one or two a.m.), reading and writing stories and writing papers on my word processor.

I played MTV softly, when they showed the best videos.  (My roommate was deaf.)  They played rock, maybe some rap, alternative, metal, and pop music, a wonderful mix that appealed to my need for variety.

I turned off all the lights except the one beside the bed, so Clarissa could sleep, the two lights giving everything a dreamlike quality.  I loved this time best of all the day.

I still loved dance and pop songs.  Alternative and hard rock/metal provided wonderful music during this time, such as White Zombie’s debut “Thunder Kiss ’65,” Tool’s “Sober,” Boingo’s “Insanity,” Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box,” Ocean Blue’s “Sublime.”

The songs “Today” by Smashing Pumpkins and a remake of “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff were my anthems for the year, because they were about happiness: “Today is the greatest day I have ever known.”  “I can see clearly now; the rain is gone.”  

Peter and Shawn had no more power over me.  I, Mom, and even Shawn noticed that I got happy as soon as they both left Roanoke.

Now the Phi-Delts had their own suite to live in.  The frats had both living suites and meeting suites now, but the sororities still had to meet in the Krueger basement.

But it was about time that at least some of the inequity was mended.  People had wondered if it was a sexist thing, giving the fraternities suites to meet in and no suites at all to the sororities.

Pearl recorded an outgoing message on her answering machine in which she said she wasn’t there and as for Sharon–“Sharon?  Shaaa-ron!” she called.  Then she said Sharon wasn’t there, either.  We would call her room just to hear the latest answering machine messages.

The Phi-Delt suite was in Hofer and right under the Sigma meeting suite.  During pledging, especially during Hell Week, we could sit in Pearl and Sharon’s room and hear the whack! whack! of big, long Sigma paddles being used on pledges.  They weren’t really supposed to paddle pledges–it was against anti-hazing rules or laws–but they did, anyway.

From my room, I could now see what the suites looked like from Krueger.  I saw the back of Hofer and part of the front of Friedli.  I believe I could see my suite from sophomore year.

I saw what the frats did to their back doors: painted them with the Greek letters of each frat.  The Zeta door, for example, was black and painted with ZX.  I could also see trees beyond the tennis courts, and I might have seen some of the houses on Prof Row.

Funny Library Stories

My library job had the occasional perk.  For one, Wesley would bring in his Expos class to do the Library Skills Workbook.

He was no longer my teacher, and would have been fair game, except–he was married now.  Sigh.  I’m not sure when he started dating his wife, but it must have been very recent, and a whirlwind courtship.

Another perk was, cute guys kept coming in to the library.  One, a freshman, came in to get the Appleworks start-up disc for the library computers.  Then he later dropped off the disc and started to go out the exit gate, but the alarm went off and locked the gate (a bar that would drop).

Flora came over (as did several others, including James).  She said, “Do you have a Mead Library book?”  (That was the S– library.)

“No,” he said.

“Do you have one of our books?”

“I don’t think so.”

He looked through his bag, and a guy checking out some books said, “Strip-search him.”

I said maybe it was the disc.  Flora said he must have put it too close to the scanner, and let him go.  It was so funny.  We weren’t allowed to accuse anyone of stealing books, which was just as well because we were more likely to laugh instead.

The alarm would go off if someone took one of our books without checking it out, but unfortunately, Mead books also set off our alarm.  A sign taped to the desk  said to show us your Mead library books so you won’t get embarrassed.

People did this, or pushed their bags across the desk to avoid the sensor if they had Mead books.  The Appleworks start-up floppy discs were given out by workers at the desk so we’d know where they were.

Shawn Calls

On Thursday the 9th, Clarissa and I hung out in Cindy’s room with her, her roommate Tamara, and Pearl.  The phone rang.  Cindy answered.

It was Shawn.

She didn’t recognize him at first because he sounded nothing like himself: low, soft, on the verge of crying.  Usually he could get so hyper you’d want to shoot him.

He got her number from the switchboard.  He’d called Pearl during the summer, but only twice, and only to ask if she wanted to take him to Great America.  She happened to be planning to go with the Phi-Delts, but they all backed out, and even Shawn didn’t go.  That was odd timing, as was his call on Thursday with us all there.

He had a bad summer, with everything happening at once: his brother died of cystic fibrosis, and a whole bunch of other things which I won’t describe, happened–and he hadn’t been talking.

Normally, you could not shut him up.  Even Cindy, though she tried, could not get him to talk enough.

He was on the edge of another nervous breakdown.  I was very worried about him, but also angry with him for how he left things between us.

Cindy told him we were in the room, so he knew I was there.  Pearl and Felicia eventually left.  Later on, when it sounded like Cindy and Shawn were about to hang up, I had her ask if he had my number.

“He wants to know if you want to give it to him yourself, or if you want me to do it,” Cindy said.

I was nervous and uncertain what to do, but said, “You do it.”

“Did you want him to call you?”

“Not tonight; maybe tomorrow night.”

Cindy said to Shawn, “You don’t have to do it.”

I said, “I hope he does,” and she told him.

They hung up.  “It seemed like he might call you, though I’m not sure,” Cindy said.

“If he calls you again, could you tell him I don’t want to go out with him, so he shouldn’t worry?”

“Okay.  Don’t take it personally if he doesn’t call you.”

“How can I not, if he calls everybody else but me?”

He told her he might come visit some time.  I hoped so, since I didn’t have a picture of him–and as I wrote in my diary, “because I see him everywhere!”

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995: