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One step at a time

Anneliese Woolford | Monday, September 29, 2003

Apparently I’m living in the ghetto – at least that’s what my friends, parents and the cab driver I met Saturday morning say.Personally, based on the two months that I’ve lived there, I love Lafayette. I’ll admit it’s not in the best of neighborhoods by any means, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.Our apartment is clean and spacious with three floors and four bedrooms. Sure, I sound like a promotion brochure, but it’s true. My three roommates and I looked at a variety of other complexes and houses before deciding on Lafayette. Our rent and utilities are cheaper then most and we each have our own room (granted, two of them are 8×10, but luckily, not mine).The location is close to both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame as well. After several trial runs, I’ve even discovered the most time efficient route to both campuses – a mere three minutes to Notre Dame and five to Saint Mary’s. Unfortunately, this fails to guarantee my showing up at class on time. Crossing South Bend Avenue while simultaneously unwrapping my NutriGrain bar, opening my Gatorade, applying lip gloss and dodging bikers can also be a bit of a challenge.In addition, the distance to Notre Dame Stadium or, more importantly, the parking lots surrounding the Stadium, is shorter and more convenient than that from Saint Mary’s. So on to the negatives. It did make me a bit nervous moving in and having the family across the street observe from their front porch as I unpacked my life from my car. It was also interesting joining my roommates in watching the spectacle our back neighbors made by screaming and stopping traffic in the street a few nights later.My mom was less then pleased when “Karen” approached us in the parking lot a couple of weeks ago, asking if she could come inside for something to eat. The look on her face was priceless as she realized that raising her daughter in a relatively safe Detroit suburb was quite a contrast from Eddy and Lafayette streets in South Bend, Ind. Like most in my situation, I am well-aware of the danger I may face, especially when walking from the street to my apartment at 3 a.m. after a long night of studying, going out with friends, working late at The Observer, or whatever the case may be. I’m well aware, but I’m not as frightened as maybe I should be. Go ahead and shake your head if you must. I consider it more of a learning experience than anything else, and I’m certainly not looking to tempt fate in the process.This is only preparation for what I may face next year as I (hopefully) head to Chicago. I’m just taking things one-step at a time.

Contact Anneliese Woolford at [email protected] The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.