From the beginning, I knew that my freshman dorm room in Nicholson 5 was an extraordinary dwelling of historical significance and unprecedented quality and vigor.
On just my second day at Wesleyan, a sharp knock prompted me to check the peep hole, through which, to my surprise, I saw the elderly visage of the head of the Wesleyan Alumni Association, who had lived in the room fifty years prior.
“We had some real good times in here,” I remember him saying. Later that night, at a freshman class barbeque, he tried to teach us the Fight Song. I have not seen him since, but often I think wistfully of his fun times in my room and on my balcony.
Another time, I heard a knock on the door and assumed it was one of my two friends—Piers or Rebecca—so I opened the door wearing only my blue boxers with red hearts on them and a T-shirt with a graphic of the Loch Ness imposter (a clever squid holding a Loch Ness monster mask above the water). The knocker turned out to be a woman my mom’s age hoping to show her two sullen 12 year-old boys the place where she had lived back in 1982. They seemed more interested in their iPods than in my Loch Ness imposter T-shirt.
Living in my room was always an adventure. The individuals who lived next door during my freshman year were very stingy about their balcony. All the balconies in Nics 5 are connected, so it was only natural that I should walk up, down, and about on them, or so went my reasoning.
Yet my neighbors were completely perturbed that I had trespassed on this space—they raged and yelled, arms aflutter. One who was especially mad yelled at me months later in the hallway because he suspected that I had “given him a look” and also slammed a door in my face when I asked him to hold it because I did not have my WesID. It was all rather unpleasant.
Anyway, the reason I have provided a brief history of my legendary room is that I was recently commissioned by The Argus to ambush the student who now lives there and write an article about it.
So, here goes.
The person now living in my former dorm room is Ross Berger ’14, an interesting fellow.
“I dry my whole body with a blowdryer when I get out of the shower,” he told me.
I mostly like what he’s done with the place. He’s hung some vinyl covers on the wall, placed several acoustic instruments on aesthetically pleasing display stands, and put vegan food everywhere (this last part I do not like).
“I’ve been vegan for two years,” he explained. “I thought I’d go without eating meat for a day, then for a week, then I was a vegetarian. I’m just not down with killing things.”
The vegan food is still the least cool part of the room.
The hall is now an all boys hall, but Berger said he does not mind.
“I do not mind living on an all boys hall,” he said.
Matt Krakaur ’14 lives across the hall, in the room where my friend Piers once dwelt.
“All boys hall is a sausage fest,” he said. “We play a lot of poker.”
Berger seems to be on better terms with his sausage-loving neighbors than I was with mine.
“Just a few days ago I very cleverly found out a combination to a kid’s bike lock by pretending that I was doing a survey about what types of passwords and combinations people use,” Berger said. “I found out he uses his birthday, found out his birthday from Facebook, took his bike, and hung it from a tree.”
Curious about his choice to decorate with a musical theme, I asked him about the instruments on the stands. It turns out these instruments are not purely for decoration; he does, in fact, play them.
“I like bluegrass and American folk songs—banjo, acoustic guitar,” he said.
Berger said that he is very satisfied with living in the Nics and with Wesleyan as a whole.
“The douche factor is at a minimum here,” he said. “Even in my high school, which was a good place, I’m used to disliking more people. But here there are very few people I don’t want to spend time with.”
Anyway, I know that you’re probably most interested in the full-body-blow-drying, so here’s more on that:
“When I get out of the shower, I turn on the fan and blow dry my whole body, standing in front of the fan. It’s like living in a wind tunnel. People are going to start doing it. I started because my armpit hair was wet, and my towel was already hung up. But now I do it to my whole body.