The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 04, 1993, Page 5, Image 5

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    --1. I
Shhhhh, don’t say the D-word
The other day I heard a Resi
dence Hall Association mem
ber blasting a university ad
ministrator over his use of the word
The politically correct term, she
said, was “residence hall,” and if he
didn’t want to “piss people off” with
his “stupid” comments, he shouldn’t
say the D-word.
“A dormitory is where you sleep,”
she said. “A residence hall is where
you live.”
When I was a freshman, I had a
dorm room. Everyone called the build
ing in which we stayed a dorm. Some
times we would visit friends in other
dorms. I ate in my dorm, studied,
talked, went to the bathroom, took
showers and just about everything
else people normally do in dorms.
In short, I lived there. And the only
time anyone used the words residence
hall was when we were electing our
RHA floor representative, who occa
sionally would tell us about those
boring meetings.
This incident wasn’t the first lime
I heard someone bring up the old line
about living in a residence hall and
merely sleeping in a dorm. I went to a
couple of RHA meetings myselfback
in the old days.
When I started at the Daily Nebras
kan, one of the first style points I
learned was never to use the word
dorm. The DN Stylebook, under the
entry of “dorms,” says: “do not use.
Use residence halls. Let it slide in a
column, however.”
Luckily, this is a column. Thank
heavens I can bend those rules a bit
and use nasty, evil words.
The residence hall vs. dorm con
troversy is reminiscent of other word
wars waged throughout our new, more
sensitive society. Reminiscent, per
haps, but a far cry from intelligent.
For example, when we say Native
American instead of Indian, we’re
trying to make up for a past misno
mer. Indians are from India, not Amer
ica. The term Indian never was cor
I’ve heard “dormies” used as
something of a slur, I suppose.
However, I’ve also heard
“greeks” said in negative ways,
and no one is scrambling to
adopt some new term such as
“brotherhood philanthropy
living units.”
rect for referring to the first Ameri
cans, and it eventually came to be
used as a slur in many cases.
The word dormitory originally
meant a building with sleeping ac
commodations, and Americans have
changed the word over time to be
more encompassing of other aspects
of living in general. However, even
by the older definition, dormitory is a
fairly accurate name for the residence
It is true that the campus dorms are
more than just a place to sleep. Stu
dents are smart enough to realize that.
On my floor, in fact, sleeping was
sometimes impossible because ev
eryone was so loud. Often during the
night I’d be forced to “reside” when I
would have rather been sleeping.
I’ve heard “dormies” used as some
thing of a slur, I suppose. However,
I’ve also heard “grecks” said in neg
ative ways, and no one is scrambling
to adopt some new term such as “broth
erhood philanthropy living units.”
I suspect the residence hall con
cept was thought up by university
officials who wanted to attract more
students to the dorms through friend
lier advertising. A residence hall sure
sounds nice, full of nice people and
nice activities and nice food.
I lived in what we all called “the
dorm.” The dorm also was full of
many nice people who had fun and
liked at least most of the food. I
enjoyed my year in the dorm. Perhaps
it wasn’t as perfect as a shiny happy
residence hall is, but then that’s life.
It would be adifferent matter if the
average student seemed offended at
the mention of the word “dorm,” cring
ing and inwardly crying at the sting of
the D-word. But that hasn’t been my
experience. This seems to be a far
more laughable sight: A small group
of people trying to force the majority
to rename themselves.
I hope and suspect RHA members
also discuss matters of slightly more
substance. Because members are elect
ed from each floor and regularly re
port back to their constituents, RHA
probably is one of the most represen
tative student bodies on campus —
certainly they reflect the dorms more
accurately than ASUN does the cam
pus at large.
RHA members can call the dorms
anything they like when they speak of
Those Places Where Students Sleep/
Live. I’ve heard a lot of names for
them myself. But whining is quite an
excessive reaction to administrators
who use the same perfectly adequate
word students have used for hundreds
of years without ever feeling bad about
But then, what do I know? I sleep
in a commune these days, not those
Slap-Happy Residence Halls.
Pbelps it a seaior aews-edKorial major, a
Daily Nebraskaa seaior reporter aad a col
Infant brings sleepless nights
It was a dark and stormy night.
The thunder boomed, the light
ning struck, the wind howled
and both the kids were awake and
It was a bad night.
Children crying because of storms
is understandable. My daughter hates
the thunder.
But after the storm passed and all
was quiet, we knew it was still going
to be a bad night. Well, maybe not
bad, but unpleasant.
Our son will not sleep through the
In fact, he wakes up two, three or
four times a night.
You can set your clock by Aaron.
If he wakes up at 1 a.m., you can plan
on getting only two, possibly two and
a half hours of sleep after that. He’ll
be awake again.
Each time he wakes up, he’s hun
gry. He’s only four months old, and he
cats like a horse. When he had his
four-month checkup last week he
weighed in at 18 lbs, 2 oz. He’s dou
bled his weight, which babies are
supposed to do.
When they’re six months old.
Aaron wakes up to eat. I guess he’s
getting a head start on those midnight
refrigerator raids. Only it’s me or my
wife who goes to the fridge for him.
And it’s not just midnight. It’s 11,
1, 2,4, or 6 in the morning when he
wants to be fed. There is no set time.
For example, last week, after put
ting everyone to bed and enjoying a
little quiet time watching television
and studying, i went to bed at around
I was in that weird mode of serene
calmness. Sleep was falling upon me.
Aaron woke up.
It was 11:45.
Grumbling, I got up—1 was taking
the first shift, got his bottle, got him
out of his crib and fed him. He sucked
the bottle dry. The whole eight ounc
es, gone.
After burping, which is a com
pletely different subject, and rocking
him to sleep, it was time to try and go
We’d stay up late watching
television in our bedroom. We'd
go to bed when we wanted. Get
up when we wanted. When I
woke up before children, I’d
stay in bed and fall back asleep.
to bed again. I was really tired this
But it wasn’t to be.
After laying Aaron down, cover
ing him up and tiptoeing out of the
room, our daughter woke up.
All it look was a few soft words and
a mb on the back and she was back
Crawling back into bed, after gen
tly moving my wife from my side of
the bed, I finally fell asleep.
For one hour.
Yep, Aaron was awake again.
No! He can’t be hungry again. He
can’t, I thought.
Luckily, he wasn’t. There is a god.
All he needed was his pacifier and
his blanket placed up near his face for
comfort and he was back asleep.
It sounds bad, but not every night
has been like this.
One night he only woke up once,
and he slept ‘til six in the morning
once. Once in four months isn’t good.
The one time he only woke up
once, I still didn’t sleep.
1 woke up four times by myself
wondering if he was still breathing.
Each time I checked, he was.
One time when 1 wasn’t sure if he
was OK, I went into his room and
checked on him. Gently, I touched
1 knew he was OK when he jerked
awake and started to cry.
Great, now I’d done it. I blew it.
The perfect night’s sleep gone. But I
wasn’t sleeping anyway. If 1 had to be
up, so did Aaron.
Oh, how I long for the nights we
had before children.
We’d stay up late watching televi
sion in our bedroom. We’d go to bed
when we wanted. Get up when we
wanted. When 1 woke up before chil
dren, I’d stay in bed and fall back
Before children, I’d wake up to
cars driving by, people walking and
talking outside our apartment in Dal
las. I’d also wake up to the occasional
gunshot in our neighborhood. Each
time I’d fall back to sleep quickly.
You get used to those sounds.
Alter moving back to Nebraska, 1
once woke up to an owl outside our
window and once to some cattle moo
ing in the pasture out back. Once
again. I’d fall back to sleep because
those sounds are nice, soothing nois
Aaron crying at the top of his lungs
for a bottle is not one of the best
sounds in the world. Especially at 3
Now don’t get me wrong, I really
do love my son.
When I feed him, I love how he’ll
hold onto my my Finger as he sucks on
his bottle. And when he’s done and I
rock him asleep, his cooing is one of
the most beautiful sounds in the world.
It’s just that I miss sleeping a whole
night. I can operate on a lew hours of
sleep, but not every night.
And I do like it when he speaks.
I just wish he did his talking during
the day.
Wright ii a graduate studeat ia Journal
Dm and a Daily Nebraska* columnist.
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