Random Dorm Observations

Oh hey, long time no see.

I’ve already talked about the CAU dorm before but quite a lot has happened since then, so it’s time for a quick update on good ol’ Blue Mir Hall. As already mentioned, there are a lot of rules. A. lot. of. rules.

How strictly these rules are actually enforced may be up for debate. I’ve heard that the curfew can be avoided if you can convince the night guard to let you in, and I’m not sure some of the other rules are even enforceable, but I don’t really want to test my luck.

One rule that deserves particular attention is the ‘don’t take anybody else’s food’ rule, as it is stressed quite heavily. As mentioned before, we only have communal fridges, so taking stuff that does not belong to you is quite easy.

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The label that you are supposed to put on every item you put in the fridge.

And if the multiple warnings about the excellent CCTV system specifically put in place to catch you in the act were not enough, there are other cautionary tales to be found:

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Yup, they actually printed up posters detailing what kind of stolen food people have gotten kicked out of the dorm for and have distributed them all over the place. I’m not sure how much of a deterrence this is given the apparent frequency of this taking place, but I’m sure nobody wants to be known as the person that got kicked out of the dorms for taking somebody else’s candied yuzu teas. That’s rough.

Another important point: There are regular room checks to inspect the cleanliness, look for contraband, and whatever else. These are also announced in advance. Students are expected to be in their rooms during this time. If not….you guessed it. Seven penalty points!

The semi(?) annual fire evacuation drill took place a few weeks ago, and it was treated as a major deal. I am used to lackadaisical  fire drills that nobody really takes all that seriously, and this was definitely not that. Which is good to know in regards to fire safety, I suppose. The bureaucratic effort alone that went into this was massive. Forget the usual notices, forget the massive penalty points (15) for not participating, the dorm really went all out on this one. Every inhabitant got an identifying card that they had to bring to the drill to check for attendance, a detailed schedule was posted detailing when which floor would be evacuated, drills of the drill were performed prior during the day.

However, the drill itself was kind of a hot mess. My floor was to be evacuated at 8pm, so I had scheduled an important Skype presentation before that was scheduled to end at around 7:15pm. Seemed safe, more than enough time to finish. The floor below was to be evacuated at 7, but that did not need to concern me, right? Well, what I had not anticipated was that for the evacuation of every floor, the sirens would go off on all the unaffected floors too in deafening volume, right as my part of the presentation started. Needless to say, I was a bit flummoxed. Since the alarm was so loud on our floor, nobody was sure if it was our time to be evacuated after all and gathered outside the rooms. We stood around for a minutes not knowing what to do, went downstairs to check, and then just went back to our rooms while the alarms sounded on full volume for a solid ten minutes. Confusing as hell. The actual evacuation happened at 8 and was also a sight to behold: Volunteers guiding us with flashing signs, groups of people being led into the parking garage, being made to watch instructions on how to recussitate people and how to use a fire extinguisher (all in Korean, of course). It was a sight to behold. So yeah, Korea does not fuck around when it comes to fire safety.

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