Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Backyard Exchange (BYE) By Grace C.

In a matter of days, my forms for the dorm were signed and sent in like a court warrant.   My apprehension about staying in the dorms was mainly due to study halls, bed times, claustrophobic hallways, strict dorm parents and especially the food.  Surprisingly, I arrived at school on Thursday feeling like it should be a Friday because it hit me that my parents would be across the country and I had the whole weekend to do (potentially) any thing I wanted to do...

Thursday afternoon started with a trip to the field to watch the girl’s varsity soccer and volleyball game.  We had only been watching for a few minutes when  Andrea (who was also visiting the dorms) and I sprinted up the hill to slurp down a bowl of instant ramen in order to get to study hall on time.  Once in the library, the proctor, a fifty or so year old man with a thick Eastern European accent, checked our names off a clipboard and told us the rules for study hall etiquette.  For the next two hours I impulsively clicked my “Facebook” bookmark only to be slapped by a censored page.  This forced me to actually get all of my homework done in those two hours… Since the creation of my Facebook account, I have never thought such speedy completion of our now called ‘assignments’ were possible. 
As Friday evening rolled around, the warm weather seduced us to take a 4-mile stroll down Beaverton Hillsdale Highway to bubble tea with Meredith, Jinny and Andrea.  As long as we were back by 8:30 (which was the time we wrote on our sign out sheet) we were free to walk wherever we wanted.  Jinny and I introduced Meredith and Andrea to the small Korean supermarket next to the Home Depot and we decided to buy ingredients to make an Asian dinner that night.  In the project room that night we cooked up and feasted on potstickers, three different selections of instant noodles, rice, seaweed and edamame.  (Take note, day students: I have only eaten one meal (breakfast) in the dining hall thus far!)
Since dormies are supposed to be on campus by 11 and in their dorms by midnight, a bunch of us played on the field until Scott, the DPOD (dorm parent on duty) called up back up into our gender separated lounges.  On the couches, we rushed to get on our Facebooks and Twitters before our Internet shut off at 1:00.  I decided to sneak into my designated dorm room (my host was Shelly) and get my pillow and blanket and have a little sleepover on the couches in the lounge.
My trip to the dorms was such a good experience and gave me the chance to get to know other students from different countries.  Everyone was so hospitable and dealt with all the noise Andrea and I caused in the lounge (Sorry!).  When students and dorm parents (and their families) came together for group activities like tie dying, everyone (even the 3 year old toddlers) joked around with each other despite where they came from and how old they were. 
When I packed up to go back home on Tuesday afternoon, it felt like I was going home after a week at camp.  I was pleasantly surprised by what a good time I had and cannot wait for my visit back next weekend!

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