April 27, 2008

Humboldt in 1990

Filed under: Humboldt '90 — Tags: , , , , , , — denise @ 3:07 am

Cal State Humboldt is a hippie/granola/peace/love dumbed-down version of Berkeley in Marin County, California. I went there for one semester in 1990 and lived in the dorm and tried to fit in and failed miserably.

I’m going to try to document some of the goings on of that semester for your amusement (and my ongoing humility).

The “Suite”

I lived in a “suite” in the Chinquapin co-ed dorm.  By co-ed I mean that every other floor was a different gender and I think there were 6 floors.  Occasionally (every weekend), one would find a very drunk, very confused, sometimes naked boy lying in our hallway but room assigments were strictly with the same gender.

A suite consisted of a room the size of a large walk-in closet with two smallish closets that each housed 2 of the 4 “suitemates”.  We had bunk beds, a dresser and each of us a desk… though 2 of the desks were out in the public area of our communal space. There we had a love seat, a table, a 13-inch tv, a mini fridge and a phone.  And a pot plant. And lots of tie-dye.

The Suitemates:

Noelle was sweet and quiet and wispy and maybe stoned.  She never had much to say and mostly contributed to conversations with, “What? Oh! Wow. Right on! That’s so groovy. What? Oh!”  I had almost nothing to do with Noelle other than that I used to go drinking with her boyfriend Vince, whom she adored. Vince was a charmer with a touch of the SKEEZ about him…  but fun to drink with. Noelle was just under 5 feet tall so she was one of those girls that all the boys would scoop up and carry around and she would climb up on people’s laps like it was the most natural thing. IT BLEW MY MIND.

Here’s what I remember most about Pamela: she had very cool clothes (for 1990) and I tried virtually every single thing she owned on while she was in class.  Even things that still had tags on them.  I’m not proud of this.  It’s actually quite embarrassing to admit, but she was not an attractive girl but she had GREAT CLOTHES.  Oh, and those boots!  There is a reason I know those boots were buttery soft. Probably, it’s because I wore them around our room every moment my roommates were gone. Sadly, me home in the suite while the rest of them were off doing stuff was not as uncommon as I would have liked. I came in mid-year and didn’t know a soul on campus.  It was a tough time.  The boots eased the pain.

Sophie was my actual roommate, but she actually SECRETLY lived with her boyfriend off campus.  I essentially got our room to myself and just had to tell her mother she was in the library/shower/on a date every time she called and then call her at her boyfriend’s house and she would call her mom back from there.  Pre-caller ID, pre-cell phones.  Back in the good ole days.  Sophie was born and raised in Switzerland and went to school in England and like, BURMA or something like that.  Consequently, she had this great accent.  She didn’t shave her armpits or her legs and walked around naked ALL THE TIME to my total horror and discomfort (though I coolly tried to pretend otherwise). Her boyfriend’s name was Bruce or Bryce or Ben and he was pre-med and I had a terrible crush on him… and I could never stop thinking about how it was possible that all her body hair didn’t bother him?  Fortunately, she wasn’t at our room very often other than to study (her boyfriend had 6 or 7 roommates, himself) and I just forced myself to stare at her face any time we had a conversation.

To be fair, here’s me….  more later on why I came here, why I didn’t stay the the many adventures I had while there.


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