24 October 2007

Burning McCain

Most Wednesday nights at this time, I'm sitting in McCain 204, my butt not quite numb enough yet to help me forget the pain of sitting in a hard desk for an hour and a half. I'm usually restless and our class is just returning from a short ten-minute break. I'm not anticipating the next hour of class, which I know will feel like seven as our teacher informs us of the life and style of Schubert, Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart (the major composers of this week's Intro. to Music topic: the classical period).

I have to leave my dorm by 5:10 to walk across the campus for my 5:30 class. Today, the flashing lights of a campus police car gave the first hint that something was awry. As I approached, I could see a mass of students lining the sidewalks in front of All-Faiths Chapel (McCain's neighbor) and they were all holding their instruments. A giant firetruck was parked at the end of the street and two men in yellow suits approached the doors, through which I could hear the unmistakable "ERRR--ERRR--ERRR!" of the fire alarm. A music instructor frantically began shouting at a man retreating in his van: "Women and children first! Women and children first!" The calm students laughed as she burst into giggles, overplaying the seemingly routine fire drill.

I stood near my classmates and listened intently to gather the accounts of the students and teachers who had been evacuated from the building. Most of them described the hallways being unusually smoky, but they didn't leave until the fire alarms went off. (McCain Auditorium is getting roof work done, so for the majority of the semester it has smelled like hot tar.) One instructor who I recognized as once being a guest speaker in our Intro. to Music class told a more humorous version. "We were rehearsing and my students started complaining about smelling something funny. Then a man came and was trying to get in the room and I said, 'Just ignore it,' but he was trying to get us out of the building!"

Time passed and I stood with my arms wrapped around me; my ears and nose were feeling the hints of dropping autumn temperatures as the sun sank in the west. The same music instructor joked with his colleagues, "Don't worry; I went back inside and grabbed the Wabash Cannonball!" :-) Funny guy.

My classmates and I decided to join up with the rest of our class and we took a quick vote on whether or not we should leave. It was strange that our teacher wasn't out there announcing that class was canceled, so we were hesitant. It was already nearly 6pm and our class was supposed to start at 5:30pm. We have a test next week, so this would have been our last class period to review the information. Fortunately the test usually covers just what's in our book, and missing one class period doesn't hurt our grades. So two girls decided
to go inside (students were now going in to grab their instruments because they had a concert tonight) and look for our teacher. Maria, Erin, and Russ were leaving, so I joined them and we were able to (for the first time) go through Chef's table for dinner (brisket...yum).

I took the opportunity of not having class to go air the tires up on my bike. I'm not a big fan that you have to pay 75 cents for air at the gas station in Aggieville, but I noticed it said 100% of the money spent for air goes to a charity. So, I don't mind. I probably would have just spent that money on a candy bar or something I don't need. Anyway, tires are aired up, and I'm here in the library trying to study for Spanish and get my biochemistry presentation done. I rode my bike by McCain after airing up my tires, and it's still standing which is good because the David Crowder Band concert is tomorrow (I'm so excited!). Hopefully no one showed up to class (whenever the fire alarms stopped) and our teacher will be cool and move the test back or something. Who knows.

Anyway, it is day 237. I'm getting my STATEments T-shirt tomorrow and Monday I believe the magazine comes out. I'll talk to Faryle tomorrow and see what the distribution plan is. Well, long night of studying ahead of me.


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