The Green Fan

One apartment. Five roommates. Countless stories.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Our Roommates

Since we are telling our stories, I thought it would be wise to introduce our cast of characters. You have met Sherry and me. We shared the master bedroom with Karleen. Karleen is a great friend who didn't know what she was getting into when I begged her to come live with us and told her we would have great fun and save so much money by living together - three of us in one bedroom. Karleen and I were math majors in our last semester, and then math teachers in our student teaching semester. I do not think I would have survived student teaching without Karleen. I know that "Analysis: with an introduction to proof" would have been unbearable without regular study sessions with Karleen and Bill Born (more on that later - OH! such good things to come!). We also had Mary Beth, who was on a scholarship that included living expenses so she could afford her own room. She was a nursing major, and she was like our apartment mother - she was the voice of reason in a crisis, and occasionally cooked for us. Our third bedroom started out belonging to Brenda, who moved out to go to another country, and she replaced herself with Lois, who knew none of us and didn't make it a point to change that fact. Little was known about Lois, so she will be largely absent from our stories. And, of course, we had our summer roommates, Tera and Lisa. Tera is a wild and fun woman (read: great stories) and Lisa was quiet, easy to live with, and gone most of the time. In fact, I think Sherry forgot she lived with us. Lisa and I roomed together our junior year in the dorms, and although I do have great stories with her, they didn't happen in our apartment, so they won't be included here. So that's the main part of our cast. Of course, I haven't even mentioned the boyfriends, the other friends, the neighbors, . . . this post is already long enough, so I'll stop for now.

The Story of the Green Fan

We don't exactly remember where this fan came from. It was a large green box fan, and without A/C, we needed it desperately to cool down the bedroom shared by Sheila, Karleen and myself.

When we first plugged in this fan, we noticed was that it was loud. Painfully loud. Abnormally loud. Something was clearly wrong with this fan. But we were hot. We left the fan on.

That first night, the fan was so loud that it actually kept us awake. But we had a choice--be so hot that we can't sleep, or be cool and relaxed, but kept awake by the noise. We opted for cool and relaxed.

After a week, we began to sleep through the noise. After a month, we couldn't sleep without its "white noise." I think it was actually more like "magenta noise." In an apartment of five girls, several with boyfriends, someone was always coming or going or talking on the phone in the middle of the night (more on the talking on the phone to come). That fan was the background noise that covered all other noises. We were completely addicted.

We wrote a poem in honor of the fan. Unfortunately, the only existing copy of the poem was scrawled on a sheet of notebook paper and posted in our grimy bathroom (more on the grimy bathroom to come, as well). None of us knows what happened to that paper, and we can't remember much of the poem. We remember the opening stanza and the refrain, which I will post here:

"Ode to a Green Fan"

Like a screaming jet engine,
Like a jackhammer, LOUD
Such is the whirring of our green fan.


Oh green fan, how we love thee.
May God thy steel refine.
There is no fan above thee,
And we're so glad you're mine.

Yes, I know that the last clause makes no grammatical sense whatsoever. We all knew it. But hey, it rhymed, and it amused us, and that's really all that mattered at the time. Funny that I went on to teach English, huh?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Hi! I'm Sheila!

Come with me and my friend Sherry as we walk down memory lane. OK, a small, short lane, but one that is filled with many many memories. This blog is dedicated to stories about the year we lived in a small cramped (slightly scary) apartment during our last days at Biola University. We will be honest. (We will TRY to be honest.) We will name names. We might post the same story twice, just because we love to tell it. I'll let Sherry tell you more about the green fan, but let me assure you that it was real, it was real loud, and it was really green. And we loved that green fan.