Sunday, April 5, 2009
Next year, I will be living in a different place with different people. My roommates and I are going in three different directions. I am staying in residence, but heading back to Alumni Hall to live with a friend from last year. Three of my roommates are moving into a house that was bought by one of their parents off campus. All of the boys in the downstairs are moving with them as well. The final roommate is moving to another house off campus with different people. I feel as though this will be a good move for me. I do love my roommates; they all have their own qualities that I've grown to love. However, it has been two years together and I think it is time for a change. I do feel as though we will all be friends for a very long time, but true friendship is tested by distance and absence. We will be separated from each other, but if we are truly friends, we will find our way together again. I have learned so much from them, and will take away many memories.
Blogging this semester has been an experience to say the least. At times, my blog has been an outlet for my frustrations living in this house. I only hope that this blog was enjoyable to read for all the readers. I will be taking a leave from blogging for the summer, because I won't have any roommates, other than my family. This summer will also be busy, with the move, a summer job, a slightly neglected boyfriend at home (things have been crazy lately), and many summer plans. I might perhaps start up again in September, with a new roommate and new experiences sure to come. If I don't continue this topic as a blog, I may start a new blog about something else. Either way, I wish all the best to my readers and to fellow members of 26-397, especially to those graduating from Windsor. Have a safe and happy summer!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Our Bacon and Eggs, Delicious!
Friday, April 3, 2009
As I've mentioned in the past, I share the same major as one of my roommates. She's in the Creative Writing program and I'm in the English Language and Literature program. We do share common classes though, and do enjoy spending time together. This year, she has been taking the publishing class offered in her program. Many of my fellow bloggers in 26-397 know my roommate from their publishing class. This is the same roommate that flooded the house over Thanksgiving weekend. During our last blogging workshop, two of my classmates asked me about my roommate's baby. I was very confused at first, I had no idea anyone was expecting in our house. It turns out they were referring to the baby doll that has taken residence in our house. I completely forgot about this strange little baby that had become part of our lives. Why I didn't think of this to write about before I don't know. It was definitely a highlight of the year.
My roommate found out about this strange phenomena called Baby Reborn ©. The basic premise of it is you get shipped parts of a baby doll that you need to assemble. You just don't assemble it, you have to paint it to look life like, by adding flesh tones and eyebrows and redness to the cheeks. The best part, at least in my opinion, is that every time you paint a new coat, you need to bake the baby. I know that sounds sick and twisted, but I'm not lying. You heat the oven and put the pieces of the baby on a baking sheet and bake it for 20 minutes. Eventually, you add hair and put the baby together, attaching all its limbs, and you have real-looking doll. Sounds creepy right? The thing actually looks real; it could pass as a baby. Things may not have been as creepy or weird, if it didn't take up space on the kitchen table. All these limbs on a baking sheet on the table and the head just looked terrifying. I support any hobbies my roommates want to take up, but this was one that just weirded me out. Just to add a little more amusement, our oven is very temperamental and likes to either cook too fast or too slow, there's never a medium. In order to prevent an overcooked baby, my roommate cooked downstairs at our neighbours in their oven. There were multiple times that people would walk by and see my roommate exiting and entering houses with parts of a baby on a baking sheet. Then there was the time she left for reading week and carried just the head outside with her to the car. It reminded us of those shrunken heads you see in ritual ceremonies.
I don't know what you can do with a baby doll after you've finished creating it, other than look at. It's not exactly the best toy to play with. I think staring at it for so long would trick my mind into believing that it may be real. It also costs a lot of money to create these dolls, because you have to pay for the body, the paints, the brushes, the glaze, and shipping and handling. It's not a cheap hobby that's for sure. This isn't the only baby she plans on creating either, she has already started to imagine what her next Baby Reborn© will look like. I don't think I could sleep in my bedroom with fake babies all around me. But if that's a hobby she wishes to take up, even if it is a creepy one, we're all supporting her in whatever baby she chooses next.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
There are a few staples that I rely on in the kitchen, and I'm sure many other students do as well. I absolutely love perogies, they're always on my shopping list. They are quick, easy and delicious. Many of my residence friends enjoy perogies, we sometimes go to Costco and pitch in for a huge box. Any kind of pasta is good as well, at least for me. I'm not a huge fan of tomato sauce, but I enjoy pastas none the less. Sidekicks are another staple in our house, they're easy as well. You boil water, add pasta, drain pasta, add milk and butter, and let stand, and you're good to go. I think most of our cupboard space is occupied by Sidekicks. When I don't cook, I order in or use my meal card. But that costs money, and being a university student, money is hard to come by. So, cooking it is.
I've started looking for recipes online that are easy and don't require too many ingredients. Here are some of my favourites.
Gourmet Food Express
Many of these recipes make more than one serving, so they can either be saved as leftovers or they can be prepared by more than one person and split. Roommates have differing eating habits and tastes, but there's always at least one recipe that everyone can agree on. In my house alone, we have two vegetarians, one person who doesn't eat any beef but other meats, and two regular old carnivores. We do manage to work things out in the kitchen, and haven't burnt the house down yet.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Early risers. They are the people that get up with the sun, starting their day nice and early. They get things done earlier in the day, get the little things done before the day starts. Most often, rising early means retiring early. In this house, one can never be so lucky. Just because you're ready to go to sleep doesn't mean anyone else is. We also have our late nighters. These are the ones who stay up late, doing a variety of things I guess you could say. Some stay up to do work, because they work better at night, and some just stay up watching tv or Facebooking. Now, sometimes when the late nighters stay up, they keep someone else up as well. Late night means a late morning, because of the need for enough hours of sleep. We definitely clash in the house with who stays up late and gets up early. I'm sure other people who live with roommates experience this too. The clashing that exists is really unavoidable, despite everything you try to do. On the residence application form, one of the questions is about whether or not you like to rise early or are a night owl. They say that they try to match you up according to your preferences, but I really don’t think that works very well. They can never actually match you up with a roommate exactly, not matter how hard they try.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Quiet time was the subject of my last post, and my struggle to find some of that illustrious time. We all need our quiet time, no matter who we are. Way back at the beginning of the school year, all five of us housemates sat down to discuss rules and things we'd like to see happen. As part of our residence expectations, we had to fill out a housemate agreement form. It had all different rules and regulations on it that were about living with roommates. It had things like how often would the floors be mopped, and we all had to agree on the answer. Not only was it about the house and cleaning, but about the living situation. There were questions about quiet hours, weekends, and music, and much more. As a residence itself, Clark enforces no set quiet hours during the year. Mostly every rule is decided upon by the people living in the individual houses. So, as a collective group, who have already known each other for a year, we went through the list and everyone signed their lives away on this ordinary piece of yellow paper.
That was 6 months ago. Things change. First and for most, that paper we all signed has been taken away. The residence assistant took it from us as soon as we had completed it, and we have yet to see it since. I suppose it's her way of having some control over us; she holds the copy of our rules we made. I have no idea what we agreed on or any of the rules, save maybe a few. All I know is that we don't follow them quite so well. Of course we all try to, but we usually fail. I think the rule that we break most often is the quiet hours or study time rules. We did agree on the fact that after about 11 p.m., we were going to quiet down for the night. I usually hunker down in my room after about 10 for the night, in my pyjamas with my homework. The same can't be said for my roomies. They are often in and out after 11, downstairs to another unit and back, and then gone again. This wouldn't be quite so bad, if the front door didn't slam, shaking my whole room and often waking me up if it's later. I know for a fact that I've mentioned this in the past about holding the door and stopping it from slamming. Now, if they could only remember this.
It also doesn't help that we have a bell on the door handle from Christmas still. I mentioned in an early post about our obsession with holiday decorations, and this bell is one of those decorations. So, you don't get only a slamming door, but ringing bells. I've contemplated taking the bells off the door, but someone would most likely put up a fight about it. The rules are a thing of the past I suppose; it is hard to follow them when we don't know what they were originally. A little part of me wants to go ask for the rules from the RA and show them to my roommates, just for a little satisfaction.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
2. Listen to music, whatever you choose for your mood.
3. Work on a hobby that you've neglected in the past.
4. Write, call, or email someone you haven't spoken to lately.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
However, there are times when roommates collide and tension begins to build. We do clash at times, about many different things. Sometimes it's about quiet hours or quiet time, especially if it's later on in the night. Other times, it's about things that make some people tick. These small instances sometimes build up and explode. One time it was even about the delay of replacing an empty toilet paper roll. The worst part about fights in the house is when roommates who aren't involved suddenly get put in the middle of the two people fighting. In fact, sometimes it's one or two roommates verses one roommate. Being in the middle is something I hate because it leaves me feeling uneasy and stressed. I don't pick sides because usually both sides are right in some way. It makes me feel stressed because I feel like both sides talk to me about the other side and I feel so caught in the middle. The only thing I can do is stay out of the situation as much as possible, even if it means spending less time in my house or with the people that are fighting.
Things always work out in the end, the issues are resolved because the people fighting usually get to a point that they forget what they were fighting about or decide they'd like to talk things out. It usually takes a few days for the two to sit down and talk things out alone, and get everything out in the open. Once this happens, things always turn out better for everyone. There is no tension in the air when you walk into the house and there's no sides being chosen. It relieves stress for everyone and makes everything a little less hectic in our university lives.
That's all for now, I hope everyone is still enjoying their reading week. Also, I hope everyone's project from 26-397 turned out well.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Reading week gives me time to reflect on what's gone in the past few months since returning to school after the Christmas break. I considered how school has gone so far, how well I think I did and if I put enough time and effort into all my classes. I look at how hard I worked at my job, and if I feel rewarded from this. I also look at my relationships. Did I talk to my family enough? Did I update them on the going-ons in my life? I also wonder if I did everything I could to be a good roommate. There's no such thing as a perfect roommate, but we can all try to respect everyone else we live with. Basically, I just look at my life in general and see where everything is. If there's something I feel has to be changed or worked on, reading week gives me time to re-evaluate and reconsider.
This post is relatively short and sweet. I just wanted to share my thoughts on this reading week we are rewarded for working so hard (or so I like to think). Maybe fellow bloggers and readers can take the time to evaluate things in their live, and maybe we can all come back refreshed. I wish everyone a safe and happy break, whether you're traveling somewhere or staying in town. Enjoy well it lasts, because we're right back at it in a week or two.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thanksgiving this year, three of us were heading all the way home, one went to Chatham and one roommate stayed in Windsor. The roommate who stayed behind was left alone for a day and a half, to do whatever she wanted. We didn't expect her to flood the house in the time we left her. She took it upon herself to clean the bathroom thoroughly, the shower was going to be scrubbed and the floors cleaned. The problem with living in a house of five girls is the drain gets clogged easily with hair. The bathroom she decided to clean on her own has a drain that is very temperamental, and sometimes drains and sometimes doesn't. So, this roommate who we'll call Rybbon, put cleaning solution in the shower, and decided to let the water stay on to clean away the solution. Rybbon left the water running and went into her room. It wasn't until water came in under Rybbon's door that she realized something was wrong. The shower hadn't drained. Instead, it overflowed, sending water gushing into the upstairs hallway. Rybbon immediately built a dam of sorts to stop the flow of water from going into anyone else's room, and ran downstairs to see if anything had gone wrong. And of course, it did. The ceiling was dripping from several places, and the microwave was filling with water, and thankfully the microwave was not plugged in at the time. In panic, Rybbon ran to another neighbouring house to get help. When she found a friend who had also stayed in Windsor, they called the RA on duty to come help. The RA never got the message. The last course of action was to call the campus police, and in turn, also call the fire department to come.
The aftermath of the flood had many casualties. There were various towels that had to put to rest, some shampoo bottles that got swept up in the tidal wave have passed on, and the microwave has left us peacefully. I learned about the catastrophe first by a text message, and then by a Facebook message sent to all of us. I couldn't help but laugh when I walked into our house the Monday after my weekend at home. Around the kitchen, there were various pots and bowls, collecting water. It was chaos, but in the end, we laughed because she managed to create such a disaster in 24 hours. Things could have been much worse, so in the end we were lucky. So, my advice for everyone out there today that lives with roommates, is to never leave the roommate most accident prone alone in an empty house.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
This is the case in my house with my roommates and me. Two science majors, two English majors, and one education major make an interesting concoction anytime, but even more so during midterm season. Not one of us studies the same as another, not even close. This often causes problems in our house, around midterm and exam time. I, for one, need to have some kind of noise around me to study. It doesn't have to be a loud or certain noise, it just needs to be something. It can be the t.v. on low volume or music on my computer, or my headphones. Total silence drives me insane, it's too quiet for me. Two roommates need silence to study, which is why you can often find them in their rooms in complete silence or in another place entirely. We often clash with noise, because the walls are awfully thin so you can hear music through them or the television. The library is sometimes a safe haven or our study room in our building. I usually study in my room, because that's where I concentrate best and feel most comfortable. I can sit at one of my two desks, or sit on the bed, lay on the bed, or even sit on the floor if I really want to. Occasionally, you can find one of us at the kitchen table, for a change of environment. It depends on the day, what we're studying, how much sleep we got, and many more factors.
I should really be studying right now actually, for upcoming midterms, but I decided writing a blog about how I should be studying would be a better use of my time. I think it's mostly because the difference in studying styles is what caught my attention today. Every student studies differently, depending on their own preferences. Put five students in one house, and then watch the craziness of study time. I decided to put in some study tips for students that I found useful online, and I hope other students find them useful as well.
1. Find a well lit, quiet place to study. (A problem in a house of roommates)
2. Work at a desk or table. (I have a problem with this, the bed is more tempting.)
3. Find the best time of day to study. (Morning vs. evening, who knows?)
4. Set up a schedule to follow. (I should work on this one)
5. Bribe yourself with rewards. (This one sounds good.)
6. Take short, frequent breaks when needed. (My breaks last too long, easily distracted.)
Friday, January 30, 2009
Anyone that lives with roommates can relate to this. There are times when you crave the quiet for sleeping or doing work. It seems that the time you most desperately want quiet is the time when people decide to be the loudest. The constant issue with noise that I have is Friday nights. I work for over five hours and then come home to find my roommates already on their way to the amazing state of inebriation. I know that we don't really have enforced quiet hours, except for during exam time, and my roommates love to party it up on the weekends to unwind. I try my hardest to tolerate the noise most nights, but there are still nights when I end up getting woken up by noise. This usually results in me getting out of bed, walking out into the hall, and politely asking them to quiet down. I've even started putting notes on my door, before I go to sleep, reminding them that I have an early morning. This is generally a bizarre idea, seeing as how most people, when having good time with their alcohol, aren't able to read all that well.
A few weekends ago, I had a very early Saturday morning with Track and Field all day at the St. Denis Centre, and decided that an earlier night than usual would be necessary. Seeing as how past attempts to ask my roomies to quiet down have sometimes failed, I decided to Google tips on how to deal with loud roommates. My results led me to a eHow page, entitled How to Deal With a Loud Roommate. I read six steps that I should follow, that will help me. After reading the steps out loud to myself, I couldn't help but laugh. The first five steps alone hardly ever work, or at least wouldn't in my situation. The first step involves communicating with your roommates and explaining what the problem is. I wonder if anyone has ever been able to talk to four roommates, who may all be slightly intoxicated, and ask them to quiet down. Ground rules don't work, because we all forget them. Earplugs won't work; I won't hear my alarm in the morning, if I'm drowning out noise the night before. These steps aren't very useful at all, and may not work for anyone. Their tips revolve around: talking to inebriated roommates, wearing earplugs, and setting rules that are easily forgotten. I wonder if somewhere out there, there's a website or wiki that will help me with noisy and sloshed roommates.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
However, here in my house in Windsor, the holiday decorating has gotten a little, well let's say, out of hand. I still love the idea of decorating for the holidays, and I love the idea of doing it with my roommates. It makes the place feel a little homier. If you came into our house, you'd be attacked by holiday decorations. We do celebrate a lot of holidays in the time we're here for the school year. We decorate for all of them. However, we apparently don't take any decorations down. Why this has happened I am not sure. We went all out for Halloween. We had one of those witches who looks like she ran into a house, a Dracula face on the bathroom door, and caution tape near the staircase. We celebrated Halloween, and soon thought about decorating for Christmas. Well, needless to say, the Halloween decorations stayed up. One of my roommates decided that we should leave our decorations up all year around, no matter what season we were in. So now we have garland, witches, snowflakes and a soon to be added string of Valentine's hearts. I love my roommates to death, and I constantly laugh at their crazy and wild antics. However, the obsession with decorations is going slightly overboard. I feel like I'm going crazy when I see decorations from every holiday imaginable, or I wonder if I'm forgetting what month we're in.
As you can see in the picture, it's a little crazy. I was always under the impression that you waited so many days or weeks after the holiday, and then the decorations came down. Apparently, here, that rule does not apply. The one thing that I think about is what their houses are going to look like when they have families of their own. Are they going to be crazy decorators still? We can only wait to find out. I may have a roommate that's one day known for their crazy lights at Christmas that can be seen from space.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Browsing the web today, during my well-deserved homework break, I came across something that caught my attention and led to write this post. The 44th President of the United States officially became President today, Barack Obama. Everything on the Internet, radio, and television was about his offical inauguration today. You couldn't go anywhere without hearing or seeing it. The Internet had constant updates of the day's events, where President Obama was, what everyone was wearing, you name it, they updated it. I snuck a quick look at the New York Times website, to see their coverage, and came across a blog that I found interesting. President Obama's former roommate at Columbia University talked about his time with the President in their three room railroad flat, with unreliable heat and water. There was no way this man knew his roommate in college would go on to become the President of the United States. I could never imagine the shock, seeing the guy you went to the university gym with and slept in the next room to, on the tv, taking the oath of office.
This got me thinking about my roommates and our futures. What will become of us? English is a major for two of us, so we're still deciding where that will take us. Another is a concurrent education major, she'll be a teacher no doubt. The other two are Arts and Science majors, one with concentrations in biology and classics, the other interested in math and french. What if one of them invents the cure for cancer or solves some math equation that has never been solved before, and wins a Nobel Prize? It seems unrealistic now, we're just trying to make it through each day. You never know though. I could be living with the first female Prime Minister of Canada.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I live four and a half hours away from home, hailing from a city 30 minutes outside of Toronto, Whitby. I spent my first year of university in residence, living with one roommate. I lived on the same floor with 30 other people. After a crazy first year, I chose to do it all over again. I signed up t live with four of my best friends, all girls, in a townhouse style residence, restricted for upper year students. It was a place that offered the convinence of residence, but the freedom of independent living. We chose to live above a houseful of boys, who were all floormates the year before. All the boys are like brothers to me, and they treat me like a little sister. We're all very close, so in fact that two of my roommates are dating two of the boys downstairs. Sometimes, we get on each other's nerves, but in the end, we all love each other.
The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences of living in residence and with roommates with fellow bloggers. I hope to offer some tips on how to deal with some situations that may come up while living with roommates and just some stories and experiences we face together. I hope to find other bloggers out there that blog about the same thing, and maybe some sites that offer tips and ideas.
Look for my next blog soon.