November 14, 2007

College Laundry

I was talking with my son on the phone today. I don't get to talk with him often as he is one busy college freshman. He is a member of the student senate and the crew team and has quite a bit of work with his classes. Because he is a freshman and on a sports team, he is required to spend eight hours a week in a "study hall" which means that eight hours a week he must report to a room on campus, sign in and study there, thus assuring the school that athletes study at least eight hours a week. Thus, there aren't many hours in the week for mom.

But back to the topic. While speaking with him today, he told me that he was doing his laundry today. He told me he had to wait almost an hour to get a dryer because they were all filled with clothes that people left there. When asked why he didn't just take them out and put them on a table or on top of a dryer, he told me that he couldn't because they were filled with girls clothes and he didn't want to be caught pulling female underclothes out of the dryer.

Now that got me thinking about the laundry room in college. For the first two years, the dorm that I lived in was an all girl dorm. My third, and final year of both college and living in the dorm (yes, I was one of those crazy people who rushed through school and completed it in three years so I could begin my work career - if I only knew then what I know now....), the dorm became a co-ed one and that changed things.

Each floor in the dorm had its own laundry room and I spent a lot of time there. I learned early in my freshman year that the laundry room was about the quietest place to study in the dorm. It was warm there, and most people didn't hang around listening to the whirl of the washers and the thump-thump of the dryers. I found this to be the closest thing to "white noise" on campus. I would head there with my cup of tea or soda armed with text and note books and a highlighter to study in peace and quiet. Until my last year. When the guys moved in.

Suddenly the laundry room wasn't quiet until ten or eleven at night. And the guys were not good about changing their wash, or emptying the dryer or even picking up their clothes that someone had emptied in order to use a machine. They weren't quiet when they came in and if they saw you studying, it made them louder.

I don't know what the laundry room at my son's school is like. I was only in his dorm room briefly on move in day and when we took him back to school Columbus weekend. And I didn't get the tour of the rest of the facilities in the dorm. But I know that he occasionally does his wash. Because the two weekends he was home, his clothes were clean and his duffel bag didn't smell like dirty clothes.

1 comment:

Barb, sfo said...

It's good to know he's a gentleman, anyway!

I studied in the laundry room too. I used to sit on top of the dryers. Our dorms were always all-female, and like yours, always quiet in the laundry.

Senior year I had an apartment and my roommate and I would carry our laundry to the laundromat and play backgammon while our clothes got clean.