My roommate and I live in the basement of Jefferson House, second door on the right. On our door, we have construction paper name tags. Hers is decorated with a chickadee. Mine has a goldfinch.
We also have two cyanotype prints made in the Art Studio, one of flowers and the other of leaves. Cyanotyping is an early form of photography that uses the sunlight to activate chemicals, turning the exposed space blue. We learned how to do this in the Papermaking and Book Arts class.
Inside our room, you are greeted by a bookcase made in Reverence for Wood last spring. Our desks are pressed together and lined with textbooks and our laptops. My roommate’s nail polish collection sits next to her copious amounts of art supplies. We’ve been known to paint our toes while we watch Hayao Miyazaki films.
The two of us stayed up late one night to make Valentine’s Day cards for all of our fellow Jeffersonians. We woke up early in the morning to secretly tape them to their doors. I returned after breakfast that day to discover a community dish of candy set out by another dormmate, and that Equal Exchange chocolates had been taped to our doors.
Our house stays up on the weekends playing games like Things and Bowl Full of Nouns, laughing together. We eat sugar cookies with sprinkles baked by our Community Advisor and read children’s books in our slippers in the common room. Clean laundry hangs from the drying rack. The Free Box beckons us to search for the latest wool sweater find, or a “new” pair of pants.
There is almost always someone in the kitchen, perfuming the dormitory with spices and food. Sometimes I can hear the air popper rattling from my room. The smell of fresh brownies wafts through the house and lures me upstairs.
On Monday and Thursday afternoons, a rotating group of residents meet for Cleaning Parties. We sweep, take out the trash, water the plants, and yes, we even scrub toilets. We all take care of the place we live. We all take care of the place we play.
I am proud to be a member of the Jefferson House family.