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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When the Fire Alarm Sounds It's Best to Leave the Building

Today has been full of excitement! As you can tell from my title, we had a bit of a scare today but thankfully, no one got hurt.

It was just before 2 pm and I had just finished eating lunch and was headed back to my room in Preston Hall. My roommate had shown me the back stairs several days prior, and since it was quicker to go in and out the back way, I was making good use of my newfound knowledge. I opened the door and as I started up the first of 3 flights of stairs I heard a strange buzzing sound that seemed to get louder the higher I climbed. "What's that?" I wondered, but unfamiliar with my surroundings, I shrugged it off. A couple seconds later, the buzzing stopped. I popped out the door on my floor and sniffed the air as I made my way down the hallway, wondering if perhaps there was a false fire alarm. I smelled the slighest tinge of what could have been smoke, but then again, maybe someone had burned something in the kitchen downstairs, so, unconcerned, I turned the corner and took out my key to unlock my room. As I did so, I heard a loud chattering sound coming from outside. I stood on tiptoe to look out a window and noticed small knots of women standing on the front lawn of Preston Hall, talking excitedly as men in white shirts circulated amongst them, asking questions. A large red fire engine with lights flashing stood guard and a police car was nearby. "Uh oh," I thought, "someone is in trouble for setting off a false fire alarm!" I then proceeded to calmly unlock my door and go into my room. I set my book and juice down on my bed, then, with wallet and keys in hand, I decided that now would be a good time to go and run some errands. I took the back stairs, this time a little faster than before, and slipped out the back door, heading towards the administration building by a path that did not take me by the front entrance. I was concerned that if indeed someone did set off a false alarm that I would look like the guilty one, and I really didn't feel like answering a bunch of questions about something I had no idea about!

To make a long story even longer, after getting my student ID card and buying a couple of postcards in the bookstore, I headed to the Education department for one more errand, then headed back to the dorm. When I asked the RA at the front desk what had happened, she excitedly exclaimed that someone had been using a microwave and it burned and there was lots of smoke. I guess my guardian angel was working overtime today to keep me safe!

I continue to meet people as I settle in here. Today, I met Finees, a friendly Hispanic junior Theology major, and Ruben, who was in the bookstore. Ate lunch with Vladimir, so that was fun, as the first eight days I was here, I ate lunch by myself every single day, reading a book so I wouldn't look like a loner.

I went for a walk at Dexter Drumlin again, this time in bare feet, and it was absolutely marvelous, tromping through lush green grass, squishing mud between my toes, as the sky expanded above me and the fields fell away in front of me. I'll have to take a camera next time to capture it!

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