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Nights on Duty

| Wednesday, October 8, 2014

“How’s the R.A. life treating you?”

It’s a question I’ve received a lot in recent weeks. Apparently it’s the senior year version of vaunted Notre Dame ice breakers such as “What’s your major?,” “Where are you from?” and “Yeah, but where outside Chicago?” It comes from professors and acquaintances as well as friends and parents. I tell them that all in all that it has been a great time, and then the conversation invariably turns to “What is duty like?” And so this week I’ve decided to give you a little sample of what a Saturday on duty might look like. All instances in the following article are fictitious and any resemblance to real events, people or places is purely coincidental.

Especially Siegfried Hall.

7:45 p.m. Prepare for duty by donning my finest pair of sweatpants and the badge. Check on the “Duty” Spotify Playlist because nothing says duLac like Sean Kingston and Ke$ha.

7:48 p.m. Evaluate uniform in mirror. I look good.

7:55 p.m. Unsatisfied with current position in R.A. Power Rankings. Arrive five minutes early for start of duty.

8:00 p.m. Game time. Start duty off right by cranking “Another Saturday Night” and ordering Domino’s.

8:03 p.m. Review previous night’s hallway security camera footage. That’s right, guys. You’re busted.

8:19 p.m. Inform group of sophomores why “CEOs and Office…Ladies” is not an acceptable party theme to advertise on the dorm white board.

8:25 p.m. Inform same group that “Our R.A. Banned Our Party Name, But We Still Have Alcohol” is also not going to be okay.

8:30 p.m. Hold section meeting to discuss recent epidemic of not-knocking-on-doors-before-entering-them-itis. For a section in which about half the residents have girlfriends, you’d have thought this wasn’t a meeting we needed to have twice.

8:43 p.m. Convene weekly section kangaroo court. Suspend the elevator privileges of two juniors, citing failure to throw away trash from section lounge. Grant leniency to freshman who inexplicably got Taco Bell for lunch.

9:00 p.m. Wonder where Domino’s is.

9:04 p.m. Duty phone rings, portending a crisis.

9:07 p.m.Crisis averted—“Grandpa Eugene” called the wrong number trying to reach Comcast. Help him fix T.V. anyway with award-winning advice of “make sure it’s plugged in.”

9:31 p.m. Call to cancel Domino’s order, then order Jimmy John’s.

9:35 p.m. Skype date with girlfriend studying abroad.

9:47 p.m. Skype date comes to premature end after girlfriend, noting she’s not the one stuck on duty, says she’s “received a better offer.”

9:54 p.m. Confiscate beer in the hallway, to which freshman responds, “Whatever, I’ve got five more.” Confiscate five more.

10:00 p.m. Pop in “The Notebook” with other hall staff. Point out various conduct infractions that Noah partakes in.

11:52 p.m. Get asked by the visiting brother of a freshman why we have parietals.

11:53 p.m. Explain why we have parietals.

11:55 p.m. Wonder why we have parietals.

12:00 – 1:10 a.m. Extend Settlers of Cataan winning streak to six in a victory over the group on the second floor.

1:21 a.m. Accidentally doze off. Awake to thirtheenth playing of “Shake It Off” by dorm party down the hall. Reminisce fondly over the days when “Call Me Maybe” was played 13 times.

1:34 a.m. Have daydream featuring fun-loving montage of great section bonding experiences at Steak n’ Shake, section football and hockey games. Snap back to reality, where I find myself in the third floor bathroom, mop in hand.

2:09 a.m. While on final rounds, hear female voice emanating from room. After collecting courage to intervene, walk in on skype call between resident and his mom regarding Thanksgiving flights. My bad.

2:30 a.m. Philosophical conversation regarding the meaning of life and existence of true love with recently returned crowd from CJ’s.  Sophomore confirms existence of true love, evidenced by “the smile of that girl whose number I just got.” Sophomore leaves to text her.

2:34 a.m. Sophomore returns, evidently having been given a fake number.  Console sophomore that “there are more fish in the sea.” It’s late and my metaphors are lacking.

3:02 a.m. Climb into bed.

3:47 a.m. Awake to blaring “Lizzie McGuire” soundtrack three doors down. Check phone to find missed call by Domino’s guy waiting out front.

Matt Miklavic is a senior studying political science and finance. He’s looking to ring by spring—apply at @SiegfriedRAs. He can be reached at mmiklavi@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • PuttingtheRAinPARTY…wait…

    As a former RA and lover of all things dorm-related, this hit the spot. I miss those nights on duty…sort of. Keep it up!!