Dorm Invasion

Living communally in a dorm is fun. It is a surefire way to make new friends when you are a foreign student. People approach you and want to know where you are from and how you made the decision to come to this campus. They want to hear your stories, your interests, your hobbies, and your family background. You, of course, want to hear all about them. You spend hours and hours together in each other’s rooms covering ample territory. I can’t say enough good things about this way of life to initiate your American experience. You have meals together in the cafeteria and also go out once in a while for a treat. You are never really alone. This is my recommended answer to loneliness for anyone new in a country before friendships have been formed.

Things accelerate when you spend a lot of time together. You learn new things and have so many social opportunities. Speaking of social things, we had an all dorm party recently complete with tons of food. Almost every resident brought something. As a result, in spite of our healthy student appetites, we had a lot left over. After the party, there wasn’t enough clean up as people were pretty tired. I normally could forgive this oversight, but the problem was a day later, I found mice scurrying across my dorm room floor. Yikes. Yes, I learned this American expression suitable for the small furry creatures. I hated the idea of lack of cleanliness, and by now the old food was long gone; but the mice stayed. I had to find a humane mouse trap to catch them without making minced meat out of the critters. I wanted something that would bait them with a bit of food, trap them in a box so I could release them outdoors. You can buy these humane traps at any hardware store or make your own with instructions online. Other people seem to share my interest in not beheading anything that moves. The old-fashioned spring trap seems so antiquated now. Who wants to set a trap and the next morning find a struggling mouse begging for mercy.

I was able to acquire two humane traps recommended by the salesman at the hardware store. He promised me to direct kills. It worked. I was able to secure two mice in a box with a trap door. I made a ritual out of letting them go in the nearby park. I didn’t want to release them too close to the dorm in case they should find their way back. Seriously. They aren’t dogs. But maybe they do have a sense of scent. I didn’t want to see their cute little faces even one time more.