The carpet looked like a giant rug purchased at a flea market under the façade of being a traditional Persian antique and the walls were covered in dark oak paneling that made the entire room look like it could be the setting of a Harry Potter movie. There was an out of tune piano in the corner that was being played by a boy with Jesus’s hairstyle and two fireplaces with signs explicitly stating that they could not be used. On one half of the room stood 40 boys – it would be a stretch to consider them men just yet. I stood on the other half with about 50 girls. It could be comparable to a middle school dance, except we all knew that we would not be returning home to our parents’ houses at nine o’clock. Instead, we were about to meet the people that we would be living with for the next eight months in this building that was so old it lacked air conditioning and an elevator.
The carpet looked like a giant rug purchased at a flea market under the façade of being a traditional Persian antique, but it actually is better used as a leg-wrestling mat. The walls were covered in dark oak paneling that made the entire room look like it could be the setting of a Harry Potter movie, but instead it was the setting of furniture forts, dogpiles, and late night Sporcle sessions. There was an out-of-tune piano in the corner on which Heart and Soul and Someone Like You had been played way too many times and two fireplaces, one of which had been the nesting place for a family of birds a few months back. Sitting a corner was the telephone that I never noticed until it rang one evening as we were all hanging out and a friend asked who was all in the lounge. On the table lay a few abandoned note cards of one of the many Spanish 102 students taking the class pass-fail – el parque salvaje equals wild game farm. The couches were all reconfigured to facilitate fifteen people trying to all hang out in one area, and a cushion sat on the table bench to accommodate vertically challenged students. The window screen was missing out of the second window from the right, the product of a soccer ball gone awry.