The Old Alma Mater(s)

Entry #13
Even though I started College in 1984 at Evergreen, I’m still not done yet! I only went to Evergreen for one quarter that year, then transferred to Eastern Washington University.

At EWU I lived the usual dorm life, drinking beer, smoking pot, going to classes every day, etc. I was glad to get away from Olympia and the seeming stagnation that I had created for myself there as a young lad. I loved the snow that blanketed the campus the day I showed up. I was not yet admitted, with no place to stay for the night, but I was thrilled at the prospect of a new beginning. It was the first Week in January 1985, and I was ready to take the world by the horns and ride.

I was able to get admitted, registered for classes, and assigned a dorm room in one day of futzing about the campus’ main building, Showalter Hall. Since I had arrived without notice, I ended up with a double room in the Morrison Hall Dorm, but no roomate for the first week. When a roomate was finally assigned, he turned out to be a foreign student from mainland China, and was frequently apologetic for disturbing me when he was in the room. I was normally just watching TV, or looking out the dorm window, and he wanted to study, but he just couldn’t get it in his head that the room was HIS too, and he could study if he wanted. He spent a lot of time at the library, and at a fellow Chinese student’s apartment. When he was about in the room, he was frequently leaving because he was a chain smoker, and smoking was only allowed on the “Adult Student” floor which was the 8th and highest floor in our building. He moved out after only about a week, and I ended up with the room for the entire quarter but didn’t have to pay extra. The following quarters I decided I’d like a single room, (thereby setting my pattern of not wanting roomates invading my private space) and ponied up an extra $100/qtr, and was moved from the 5th to the 7th floor.

To get by my first year, I worked a variety of work study jobs, including working through the ranks at Tawanka the student cafeteria. I started as a slop line (dirty dishes) worker, and quickly worked my way up to picking clean dishes from the machine and placing them in the “trucks” and “trays” and “baskets” to put them back out for the hungry masses. I moved on to burger flipper, hashbrown cook, and even worked the delivery line from time to time, which meant I could flirt with all the cute girls. I eventually snagged the coveted post of Busboy, whose duties didn’t include any work in the kitchen, but instead consisted of walking around the dining area making sure there were enough clean dishes and glasses, etc. out for the crowds of students that would come to dinner every night. It was a job that allowed me to be very social, and talk to my friends and fellow students as I worked. Other duties included replacing the 5 gallon boxes of milk in the dispensers when they ran dry, and bringing ice cream up from the freezer when the large tubs would become empty.

One night, the “Rock Dogs”, a couple of guys who lived near my dorm, and had a 70’s Hard Rock radio show on the campus Radio Station (Which has gone from College Radio to Jazz, it appears), and I schemed to steal a tub of ice cream for nepharious purposes. It was getting close to summer, and we decided to try and beat the heat that was getting to us. On duty that night, I went downstairs to get a new tub for the dining area, and placed a fresh new 5 gallon tub of strawberry near the loading dock, which they picked up as they left. That night, they dedicated the Van Halen song Ice Cream Man to me, to commemorate the party we had. Bong hits and ice cream was had by all!! Near the end of my first year, I was working an early shift (5:30-9:00) as bakery support, but I missed a shift the week before finals, because I was up late at a party, and forgot I had work the next day. I was suspended (fired) from my work study job, but happy to finally have some free time to study instead of working the last week of the quarter.

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