So, I wrote up a short piece about the dorms a few days ago and was pretty hesitant about posting it because I didn’t want my family/friends/professors to worry about me over here. I have tried very hard to not allow my experience living in the dorms to define my experience in Vladivostok. I went out of my way to meet older students. I have become great friends with the Asian girls in my classes, Kristi and Michael, and quite a few older Russian students. I spend most of my time out and about in the city, but in the evenings I retire to my room and to the chaos of the lives of my roommates. I have kind of shied away from talking about them on my blog, because I really do not want to make it seem like this is my perception of Russian people as a whole. ALL of the professors, older students, vendors, waiters, and random other people that I have met have been very welcoming and kind. The girls I have been living with are an exception. As I mentioned in earlier posts, my roommates are between the ages of 16-17… and they ARE the girl group from Mean Girls… hahaha. At first I let it bother me because I thought that they hated me for no reason. Then I realized they are just crazy teenagers and hate everyone but themselves.
Like I said, I tried to spend as much time as possible outside of my room… but now I don’t have to… I will post what I wrote the other night.
To be honest, I could go on and on and on about my experience living on campus at VGUES. It has definitely been a roller coaster ride. The facilities/rooms are pretty nice (minus the fact that the city has no hot water between the months of may and november), some even nicer than my room in Platt at L&C. It is also super convinient to be this close to all of my classes. I don’t even have to go outside in the freezing cold weather to get to class every morning. It is wonderful. Dorm life has also improved my Russian A TON. I am surrounded by the language all the time and students are always coming by wanting to talk or hang out with me. I have loved comparing the roles of the RA’s here and what each resident is expected to do for/contribute to the community.
Despite all of these great things, I have had many very strange and sometimes even uncomfortable experiences in the dorms. I will probably go into these in more detail once I get back, but I think I had the scariest/strangest experience of all tonight. I was just curled up in my bed trying to translate a piece of poetry unsuccessfully due to my roommates shrieking/giggling/laughing (this is an EVERYDAY occurance… Please don’t call me a party pooper… I love fun and smiling and laughing, but their’s is to an extreme level… at a level where I can’t get work done at all. I have asked them to please be quiet, but they just laugh and mock my accent… whatever.. they are 16…). I must admit I was a little tiffed and hoping that something/someone would ruin their fun, but definitely not hoping for what came next. We hear a very loud knock on our door and in barges the most terrifying looking man I have ever seen along with the dorm mother. I didn’t catch everything, but I have never seen someone SO angry. Apparently he is the director of campus living’s husband. He was screaming that he has come by here over 10 times telling them how disrespectful they are. He was right up in their faces and even yelled “you are all fat cows”(which is definitely not true… they are some of the most beautiful girls I have ever met). He said that tomorrow morning they are going to have to pack up their bags and move to the basement (which is a pretty scary punishment, I should probably take pictures of the basement floor it looks like something strait out of the movie “hostel.”) The dorm mother eventually cut him off saying “that’s enough, they understand.” It was so scary. The girls were left crying and very upset. I feel awful. I know that they have caused me a lot of frusteration here because of their noise level, but they, no one for that matter, did not deserve that man in their faces like that. It terrified me/brought me to tears and I was all the way in the corner of my lofted bed under lots of blanket.
Unfortunately, with the way that the power structure is set up here, the students have very little say. I highly doubt that they would be able to do something about what happened here tonight.
I guess there isn’t much that I can do about it at this point, so I am going to get back to homework.
Update (please excuse the font… I have no idea what is going on/how to change it… yes i know i am pathetic/incompetent :) ) : so the girls are all being asked to leave… All 5 of them are going to be moved out by this weekend… I will have my last week here alone in the room. I am still a little in shock about the whole thing.. Part of me is happy that I won’t have to deal with them anymore, but part of me is upset that this guy is going to get away with his “attack”. Gah!
I am going to go take a shower now (gah… font!? WHAT THE HECK IT KEEPS CHANGING!!!) we are not going to have water for a few days again (redoing the piping) so I gotta wash up while I can!
Love and miss you all!! :)