I'm sure some of you will remember my brief description about why OU is considered one of the most haunted places in the United States. The campus is surrounded by cemeteries, which form a pentagram from an aerial perspective, and the city of Athens at one time housed a large, unethical mental hospital with the nasty habit of torturing and lobotomizing its patients. The hospital was closed, suddenly, one day. Some of its buildings were demolished and university buildings were built upon the land on which they once stood. Other parts of the hospital remain, untouched and unvisited, except by the hundreds of daring and drunk students willing to risk being arrested each year. Since the founding of Ohio University in 1804, students have been reporting creepy goingson and telling ghost stories about supposed supernatural experiences. Some claim certain words will jinx you if uttered in the wrong corner of campus, or that you can hear a bag of marbles being poured on the marble floor late at night in one of the residence halls. The most irksome rumor to me is that past students have committed suicide by jumping off roofs after becoming possessed. It's true that OU has had its fair share of such suicides over the decades, but I think that it probably started with one person, who lent the idea to others, who followed suit to be poetic or something. Either way, I've never made up my mind as to whether or not I believe in ghosts, because I've never had any reason to care. That is, I didn't have a reason to care... until a few days ago.
Roomie and I have gone to sleep early this week, so we've both been in bed with the TV on and lights off for a good length of time each night. One night, after we'd settled down and closed our eyes, a light above our dresser popped on. For a second, we each assumed the other had gotten up without our noticing, but it soon became apparent that anyone capable of reaching the switch was under her covers. We laughed about it together, chalking it up to living in an old building with faulty wiring, and Roomie got off her bottom bunk to turn the light off. I remembered the event the next morning while I got ready for the day, and tried to turn the light on again so I could see in the mirror better. It wouldn't turn on. I dismissed this, once again, because our cinderblock walls and dirty linoleum floors don't exactly add up to living in the lap of luxury.
It was the next night that things got strange. I tried desperately to fall asleep, but found myself flopping agitatedly from side to side and glancing at the clock at frequent half-hour intervals, well into the night. Every time I approached rapid eye movement, I'd bolt upwards to the sound of my phone, on my desk below, ringing. I wanted to strangle whoever found it necessary to keep calling me at all hours, and I knew it had to be a friend, since I have family and emergency numbers use a different ringtone. I couldn't make out the words of the ringtone, playing over and over again, but I knew from the bit of sound that reached me on my bunk-- the sound of a female voice, sing-chanting-- that it was "That's Not My Name." The next morning, after I groggily stumbled down from my bed, I grabbed my cell phone, irritated, to find out who had found it so necessary to reach me at 3:30AM. No missed calls. And the volume was off.
I've never been able to hear music from any surrounding room at any hour of the day, even when I've been silent at my desk, so I ruled that out. Last night, I purposefully left the volume on my phone, risking bothering my roommate, so I could hear if the noise was coming from some other source. As I cuddled into bed, and Roomie did the same below me, the overhead light for our entire room shut off, leaving us in the pitch black. We wrote it off as the lightbulb dying, and flipped the switch a few times to be sure. Nothing changed, so we went to sleep. This morning? It works perfectly fine.
The obviously natural response to something like this is to alert facebook, so last night, I made my status, "OUR ROOM IS HAUNTED!" I received a few curious comments in response, as well as a link from my friend Leah's mom to some sites that detail the reported hauntings of OU. I did a little bit of research after visiting these sites and, of course... (cue the creepy music) in my very building, several other girls have reported hearing women's voices talking, appliances turning themselves on and off, and unusual, unexplained insomnia.
dum Dum DUUUUUM!!!
Anyway, on a less freaky note, I had three new classes today. My first, a literature class required of freshman English majors, didn't sound too promising in its course description, which included phrases like "textual analysis," but I went in with the hopes that it would be bearable. BEARABLE! It turns out that we're going to be studying John Donne to great depth, and we're required to buy his complete works. So, you know, it's only a class on my favorite poet! This morning, we discussed "The Flea," and while I've read it before, going over it in a room full of people who share my knowledge and passion, with a professor who's, for once, significantly smarter than I am, caused my heart to flutter. I truly spent the whole hour beaming, and rushed to eat lunch alone so I could slurp up the supplementary reading. Finally!
I shimmied into Theater, still smiling like I'd won a Jamaican vacation, and was further pleased to find one of the girls from my floor, Katie, in the same class. We had a fun conversation about the merits (me) and absurdities (her) of Spring Awakening, the hilarity of putting on musicals in small high schools like ours both were, and Into the Woods, in which we both had leads as seniors. We were making plans to watch the premier of Glee together when a large, sweaty man entered from the back of the classroom, slinging a stack of papers in the crook of his arm and apologizing for being, what I hadn't even noticed was, twenty minutes late. He hoisted himself onto the counter and asked an unfortunate girl in the front row to maneuver the labyrinth of desks and legs and bags to pass out our syllabi, which consisted of a disorganized, unstapled pile. The professor proceeded to insist that we call him by his first name and ask us to, please, swear as loudly, offensively, and often as we wish. Requirements for the class include attending awesome campus play productions and reading the textbook, which, while disgustingly expensive, is surprisingly entertaining. Another course that I can definitely get used to.
As for Mass Media... we'll see. It meets in a giant lecture hall, but due to some strange scheduling mishap, there are only about thirty of us for a couple hundred seats. I sat myself in the front third of the hall, thinking I was being a good student by reserving a responsible, interactive chair. The professor was this older Flitwick-type character who quietly told us not to move if we didn't feel like it, so we naturally assumed he'd be using the microphone sitting there on his podium, and that I'd still be relatively near the front of the class. Oh, but it didn't work out that way. No, instead, he delivered his two-hour lecture in the world's quietest voice, barely opening his mouth, to the point that I was leaned forward as far as possible and holding my hair out the way from my ears, in hopes that I'd catch every other word. The row behind me followed suit, asking each other for clarification and sulking, whereas those in the back gave up entirely and closed their eyes. When the professor paused for a second, I jumped down a couple of rows, until I was practically in his face, and I still had a hell of a time making out his sentences and not drifting into an afternoon nap. If there's anything I hate more than seeing things done slowly or unnecessarily gently, it's seeing them down quietly. I was crawling out of my skin. If the few words I heard from the man hadn't been so brilliant and well-worded, I would have given up. And at least he was speaking quietly, because had he whispered, I would have yanked out all my hair and outright left. So what did we learn today, kids? When people tell you to sit in the front of lecture classes, LISTEN TO THEM.
I go back to Religion tomorrow, and then have Theater again and my Freshman Seminar on Friday, but then I'll have scoped out all my classes. Michal, Kayla and I just went uptown to get some more of our textbooks, and then Michal and I went to the "artsy" coffee house and played with a box of Trivial Pursuit from 1980. "What bird produces the largest egg?" I asked, reading that the answer was the ostrich. Michal replied matter-of-factly, "Pterodactyl." I slipped the card back into the box, nodded, and said, "Correct." It's as if we put in a combined effort to form pricelessly funny conversations that are strictly for our private pleasure. I like her.
I'm now going to have a few Oreos and dip them into milk until they're soggy and deteriorating, because they're best that way, but my dad always found it gross enough to yell at me for trying. I'm then going to watch Glee with Katie from Theater class and any other available musical fans, brush the cookie from my teeth, and snuggle into bed with some John Donne. Pray no dead mental patients possess my body in my sleep!
Sexy: The atmosphere of cafes, though I don't actually drink coffee or condone the practice of purchasing drinks the price of burritos. The mismatched plush furniture, old lamps, light jazz and company, however, I can totally go for.
Unsexy: Washing dishes in a stationary tub in the bathroom. Guess what I'm off to do?
Chipotle burritos this year: 29
Bagel Street visits this school year: 1
Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3