The Little Things: Watterson

Image from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1c/Watterson_Towers,_Normal,_IL.jpg

It’s that time of year again when prospective new students tour the campus and reserve elevators for tours. I almost have nothing but nice things to say about my dormitory to the visitors. Almost. Watterson is great, it’s attached to the dining center, it’s on campus, the view’s not horrible. . .

Watterson also has its issues. The smell of pot (or something I think is pot) can be found every so often (only for complaints to lead nowhere), and the floors always seem to be littered with food from the dining center. The elevators not only takes forever only to stop every five floors, but also tends to break at the most inconvenient of times. Really the list can go on, but the worst part is when the fire alarm goes off.

Each time the screeching commences we groan in annoyance (day) or bolt upright in panic (night) and make our way downstairs. Students from the afflicted tower pool around the parking lot, a few wandering off early on in their banishment to better and warmer places like a classroom. I tend to stay the first few hours with futile hopes that they’ll let us back inside, but I’m always disappointed and brimming with envy for the students in the other tower that can’t even hear our alarms and get to sleep the night away in turn being prepared for the next days classes.

There seems to be four main causes for a Watterson fire alarm going off and none of the are actually a fire. I’m not even sure there’s been a fire in the years I’ve spent here. At least I’m sure enough for the south tower, which in my opinion seems to have their alarm go off much more. Either way it’s a minority compared to these four probably easily avoidable things

  • Food in the microwave (typically left unattended)
  • A Burst Pipe (usually temperature related or somebody just using it to dry laundry)
  • Somebody Punching the fire alarm
  • Glitches in the system

So am I complaining about Watterson, the people in it, or the fact that faulty fire alarms are a thing that exists? I honestly don’t know, but this irritation is the first thing that comes to my head when I see people pull fire alarms in movies to create a distraction. It’s the little things like a banana peel on the ground, or a slippery staircase, or a fire alarm being pulled that can drastically change your time, pulling you out of wonderful peace the night before a test and only releasing you about an hour before said test starts.

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