Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fire Alarm Evacuation #1

The first week of classes is always intense, so I am just catching up on a few things I wanted to write about. First is last week’s fire alarm evacuation, which occurred on Wednesday or Thursday. (For new readers, when there are fire alarms on the South Side of the AU Campus, residents in all three halls, Anderson, Centennial and Letts, must evacuate. Evacuations have been one of the least attractive facets of South Side living. During my first semester in residence, we were called out more than 40 times, typically at 2:00 or 3:00 AM in the morning. On several memorable occasions, there were two evacuations in one night.)

These events are never good news, but if one wanted to look on the bright side, there were three ‘good news elements. First, the alarms went off at about 6:15. Since 5 AM is when I normally begin my weekdays, I was up and about. Second, the alarm was a genuine one, as opposed to a malicious “pull”. It was triggered by one of the smoke detectors (I don’t know any more details.) Third, virtually everyone evacuated. The size of the crowd made me realize how many of my neighbors had been staying in bed during last Spring’s evacuations. This is understandable – who wants to leave a warm bed for the cold outdoors at 3AM in the morning – but also dangerous – there really good be a fire.

Everyone seemed to be in good spirits. Heath bars and Reese peanut butter cups may not be the ideal breakfast snack, but I exhausted my supply. In the afternoon I drove to the Giant to restock. It is always good to be prepared – candy distribution by the Faculty Resident has become a South Side tradition. But hopefully I can save my candy supply for the end of semester celebration I have promised if we complete the fall with no more than one malicious ‘pull’ – and public castigation (though perhaps not flogging) of the perpetrator.


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