Columns / Discourse / November 11, 2015

Basking in the luck of fire alarms

This is a thank you note. A love letter, if you will. I do not know how all of us in the Quads got so lucky, but now all we have to do is to marvel in our blessings.

I, personally, came to college with a list of things that I wanted out of my freshman-year dorm building: clean and friendly suitemates, a comfy bed, ample space to dance around to The Jackson 5 in my free time, but, most importantly, extremely sensitive and temperamental fire alarms.

Fire safety has always been important to me, and I feel like I truly hit it big when I was assigned to live in the Quads. The first time I knew I was in for a year of blissful fire alarms was probably my third morning here at Knox. I woke up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, beautifully rested from a night of uninterrupted sleep, and walked out into my common area to see everyone grumbling about the fire alarm we apparently had had the night before.

My eyes brimmed with tears. I had missed out on the first fire alarm of the year Ñ the event of the season. Anyone who is anyone is there, everyone knows that. My roommate (who had also slept through it) and I played it cool. We, too, complained about how horrible it was. We were determined to not miss the next one. We assigned a “knocker” to make sure we wouldn’t be the laughing stock of the Quads again.

Enter present day. Thirteen fire alarms later, I am still blown away by how much care and effort Knox puts into fire safety! As we all file out of our buildings, I eagerly await the fire trucks like a kid at a booze-soaked block party. I grin at my fellow Quad-mates as we stand outside in the chilled air, basking in the melodic, monotone buzzing of the fire alarm. As the firemen trudge over and automatically turn off the one fire alarm they know is malfunctioning, I can’t help but wonder: Who the hell keeps pulling these goddamn fire alarms?


Lillie Chamberlin
Lillie is a senior at Knox, majoring in creative writing and minoring in gender and women's studies. At The Knox Student, she has worked as the discourse editor, co-editor-in-chief, and is now a co-mosaic editor. She is also a co-nonfiction editor at Catch. Her work has been published in the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Tags:  alarms Campus Safety fire alarms freshmen neifert quads raub sellew sherwin

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