Sunday, August 23, 2009


Henderson House is awesome. When I got accepted at Carnegie Mellon (CMU) this spring, the question of housing quickly arose. After spending hours of research on the official Housing site, College Prowler and Facebook discussions, I was left with three options: I could live off campus in an apartment, I could live in the finer of the standard dorms, Mudge House, or I could apply to live in Henderson House, a dorm which offered something called “wellness housing.”

Henderson joined the rest of The Hill for house warsAt first, living off campus seemed quite appealing, as I was slightly tired of the dorm-like living arrangements in the army. But as I read the discussions about housing on Facebook, I was contaminated by the enthusiasm (not sure whether that expression is solid or not) that everybody seemed to have about dorms, so I decided to live on campus. Time has yet to judge whether I made the right choice, but the first week has made me a firm optimist.

Henderson House is awesome. The “wellness” –thing is about keeping the dorm substance free and promote a healthy lifestyle in both personal and global perspectives. And since those who live here all had to write a few lines about why they belong in a dorm with such values, everybody are exceptionally great people. The house is one of two silver L.E.E.D. certified “green buildings” on campus, and it has good recycling systems available. And, there is air condition.

There are about twenty freshmen in Henderson House. That is not particularly much. Not compared to, say, Mudge, where there are almost 250 freshmen residents (educated guess). Therefore, Henderson and Welch (the quiet living dorm, which neither have many freshmen) spent much time together during orientation, and we also share the same “Housefellow” and Community Advisor. Welch and Henderson = WeHe.

Orientation, by the way, was probably the most intense week in world history, perhaps second to the seven first days of creation. At the end of the week, we were so psychologically exhausted of meeting new people we didn’t even introduce ourselves to strangers around the dinner table, we just chatted about music, the events and whatnot. I am still having trouble pronouncing “environmental,” though, despite that I have said it hundreds of times (I also find “warrior” to be a hard word).

Talking about pronunciation, Nathan (one of our awesome Resident Assistants) says I have a charming dialect, and will have no problem with the girls. Andrew, on the other hand, a random guy with ancestry from Poland, felt bad when he found out that I “actually talked like that,” referring to my heavily British-influenced accent.

Food for WeHeAs I am searching for a way to sum up these vague glimpses into life at CMU, I get handed a fresh piece of delicious chocolate cake, straight from the oven. It was tonight’s project for junior Daphny and her boyfriend (whose name escapes me); it was the true incarnation of “wellness housing.” Classes starts tomorrow. Henderson House is awesome.


Orientation 2009: CMUtv

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