Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Suite Life of Hartley 5A

One of the biggest differences at the Columbia summer program, in comparison to other programs I've attended and/or heard about, is the suite life. Rather than sharing doubles or occupying singles, the girls at Columbia are lodged in suites.

Suites operate, more or less, as communities. Like the other dormitories in John Jay, Hartley and Wallach have separate rooms for singles and doubles. Rather than having the whole floor connecting each other, rooms by each other are grouped together to form suites, that are then separated from the general space by another door.

The Hartley and Wallach are slightly different, to my knowledge. Wallach seems to have suites that are contained on one floor, whereas the Hartley suites have stairs within the suite. As a result, our suites are double the size of suites in Wallach and have two RAs instead of one.

The only mechanical advantages for suites is: (a) it is safer, if safety is ever an issue; (b) there is a kitchen and more private washing facilities used only for residents within the individual suites; and (c) everyone becomes friends with each other and collectively create families -- no matter how different they may be. I must admit, after meeting my suite mates, I doubted that I would ever become close with them. I saw them as the people I would wave and say hi to in the hallways or on the streets. But I can also happily admit that my impressions are slowly but surely changing.

Tonight, one of the girls in our suite realized at curfew-check that she had lost her phone while dancing on the lawn after the campus-wide scavenger hunt. We all gathered together as a family to comfort her, as the RAs kept trying to call her phone and notified the senior advisors on campus. The girl lost her iPhone, which is her most expensive gadget, so she was worried that her parents would "ground [her] for life."

Because I have so much homework tonight, I was planning on dropping in to say I was there and heading right back to my dorm to finish reading. Instead, I decided to stay and talk to her and join in on contributing some funny stories to cheer her up. Before we knew it, the conversation carried easily from losing items and finding them to meeting strangers to stalking cute boys. That was when an idea popped into their heads. Another girl pulled out her cellphone and texted one of the guys they were hanging out with. Soon enough, he sent a text back saying he had picked up her cellphone and turned it into the lost and found. Problem solved.
Now... back to work!


  1. Yueming,

    Now you have me on pins and needles awaiting the photos of your suite. I hope they include a few shots that include some of your suitemates.

    Nice to hear that your roomie found her iPhone. Those of us who have our own felt a brief feeling of loss--like one of our appendages had been removed. Now that her iPhone's been turned in the collective is, once again, whole.

  2. There's a chance you are eligible to receive a Apple iPhone 7.