Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dorm Duty and Darth Vader

Ah Freshman! Nothing quite like dorm duty in Wood House, the freshman boys dorm.

I am tempted to email freshman teachers and let them know that they are not assigning enough homework.

This is what I say when freshmen start wandering the halls like animals prowling for food.

I ask if they are finished mastering their foreign language, memorizing their bio book, and annotating all the white space in their Rime of the Ancient Mariner... 
Not to mention - have you completed AP multi-variable calculus?
There is always something to study.  

A door bangs, and I hear pounding, "You can't close your door during study hours."
A door opens, and I hear a bag of cellophane snatched.  More pretzels have been stolen.

Math homework is discussed in another room.

A pretzel thief tiptoes across the hall, seeking more salty snacks.

Another freshman strolls slowly down the hall to get a drink, killing time, then detours into a room not his own.  

They move like Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the orginal Star Wars (Episode IV) - where he sneaks around the Death Star.  

They think I don't notice their wandering and stealth strolling about.
I too am a Jedi, feeling the force.
I guess that makes me Darth Vader, roaming the hall; the Man; the bad guy; the faculty master, playing cop.


Freshman don't realize, yet that little goes unnoticed in a dorm, or at a boarding school.  Eyes and ears are everywhere.  It's a wonderful community where everyone (soon) knows everyone.
But everyone knows everything (sooner than later).
People talk, tweet, and text.
So "live with integrity" is not just part of our mission statement, but sage advice to heed.  

At times, we choose our battles, but we hold them accountable.  Admittedly, the homework is easy at the start, but it will pickup and requests for late lights will soon be frequent (and regularly denied to those who wander).

At 9:45 at the end of study hours, we allow them to have their cellphones - we collect them at 745 when study hours begin.  Two hours without tweets and texts - no notifications vibrating and beeping.   A freshman literally dances and moonwalks down the hall - the joy - the reunion of boy and iPhone.

I notice another wanderer; so I talk with him - a catechism of sorts: questions about his homework in each subject.

A boy down the hall sings a rap song from memory, but can't remember his homework assignments.  A paradigm shift is in order.  I must go.  The music grows louder.

Good night. Duty calls. 

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