Last night, two bells rang in the dorm. One at 10:29 and one at 10:30. Whether this has been happening since 1927, I can’t say. But I do know that it has happened at least since the fall of 1989. Probably at least since the fall of 1954. Before that, I have no idea. Regardless, the bells ring at 10:29 and 10:30, have done so for many years, and will probably continue for many years to come.
What’s so special about 10:29 and 10:30? Prayer group (now known as discipleship group) starts at 10:30. 3-4 rooms of students crowd together in one dorm room to spend 15 minutes in prayer/Bible study, something I always enjoyed. This is a required activity. The 10:29 bell is your warning. And if you’re not in your group leader’s room at 10:30, DEMERITS–not so fondly referred to as D’MURITS. On Tuesdays, rather than discipleship group, there is hall meeting–an occasion when all the students are supposed to emerge from the comfort of their rooms and sit on the hallway floor while the RA tells them which rules they need to quit breaking (hint: it’s always the same list, corresponding to the same week. Every. Year. You can skip hall meeting now. Just kidding…).
Anyway, last night was Tuesday. So the bells rang at 10:29 and 10:30 as they always have and always shall. This was followed by the dorm supervisor’s voice announcing via the PA system that there was hall meeting for all the halls. Including grad hall.
Now, “grad hall” is actually the entire third floor of Mary Gaston dormitory. That’s two halls. One hall is filled with undergraduate students who happen to be over the age of 23. The other hall–my hall–is filled with GAs. I was operating under the assumption that grad hall had no discipleship group or hall meeting, and I’ve lived in the dorm all summer without it. So I had already been in bed for an hour. I was a little unimpressed by the wake up call.
Cue all the first year GAs leaning out their room doors to see if this was for real. I wasn’t the only one who had already gone to bed…
As it turned out, only the undergrad end of the floor was having hall meeting. We went back to bed. And before I fell asleep, I thought to myself, “Hey, grad school has its perks.”
No longer do I have an assigned chapel seat. Which means that I also don’t have to awkwardly climb over other students to get to said seat. I can sit in the back. I can be among the first to make it to lunch. I do not have to tell my row monitor that I will be singing with my choir in the evangelistic service tonight (which is good, because I would have forgotten to do so). Which also means that there is no row monitor to forget to not mark me absent on the attendance record. Which, in turn, means that I will not have to go to the student life office and contest the D’MURITS.
After four years, it’s a little weird to have my life so much less regulated. I keep feeling like I’m missing info somewhere. I’m basically walking around campus in a clueless fog with a caffeine-induced twitch.
As an undergrad, I was kind of judgy when it came to the GAs. They had no idea what was going on. Ever. And they were always grumpy. Well, here I am a first year GA. I have no idea what’s going on. Ever. And I’m always tired, and I don’t even have classes until tomorrow! Not to mention the fact that this is completely new territory to me, and I’m slightly terrified. I should not have judged the GAs who came before me. I repent.
Does it seem silly and shallow to be as happy as I currently am over the lack of chapel seats and hall meetings? Maybe it is. But it’s distracting me from my sleepy cluelessness, so I’ll count my blessings. Grad school has its perks.