Incoming freshman learns to adapt to the self-flaggelating medieval man sleeping on the other bunk.
The beginning of this fall semester signals the return of beloved college experiences with more in-person classes, the maintenance and creation of friendships and broadening one’s horizons. For incoming freshmen, college is their oyster: soggy and foul-smelling but nonetheless rife with opportunity. Just like the brochures advertised, living on campus is indeed an easy way for students to achieve not only independence, but also to integrate themselves with campus culture.
However, campus residency is not easy. Freshmen must adapt to living with a roommate and all that entails; for some, dorm life is a way to build connections, but others struggle with this change. New to campus and freshly eighteen, chemical engineering major Cheyenne Whitaker shares her story as she struggles to adjust to her dorm mate.
Weeks ago, Cheyenne moved into her then-empty Hardesty dorm and claimed the right side of the room. Her parents dutifully helped her sort her belongings and left her as a hesitant yet hopeful young adult, unaware her dorm would soon be the site of her problems.
Hours later came her roommate—a thirteenth-century monk named Brigelbald the Knave, adorned in a tunic and deep hood that covered much of his face.
“It was okay at first,” Cheyenne said. “He was courteous and didn’t hog the shower. He seemed more confused about me, a woman, being enrolled in higher education, but what can you do?”
Indeed, Brigelbald the Knave came to campus with a different understanding of the world; his raving speeches often involved the topic of securing Jerusalem, and he stored uneaten or half-finished cods in a barrel to pickle for later use. He spent the wee hours of the morning by candlelight working on dutifully copying religious texts onto his manuscript. Worst of all, he is a business major.
“Plus, he started to bitch about True Commitment taking away the religion major, and I’m like, dude, True Commitment was a problem two years ago,” Cheyenne recalled. “I don’t even know who this Clancy guy is.”
Then, things got worse: once Brigelbald learned the news of the Coronavirus, he began his flagellation—a definite source of bitterness between the two roommates. For hours, a shirtless Brigelbald would kneel on the floor of their dorm and whip himself with a leather throng that had spikes on the end.
“Blood would splatter across the walls and all over the place. Like, thanks for ruining my tapestry, asshole,” she continued. “When he got his blood on me, he would be like, ‘Hark here you insolent puterelle, for my miraculous blood has cleansed away thine sins,’ or whatever.”
Cheyenne contacted housing services about changing her roommate and instead has been enrolled in a group session for learning to respect cultural differences. Brigelbald’s tuition has been paid for with silver coins, and with TU hemorrhaging money, they will take what they can get.
For now, Cheyenne lives on variouscouches of her friends and has invested in noise-cancelling headphones to drown his incessant chanting. Brigelbald is trying, too; he promises to stop gazing upon her sleeping form and mumbling words about the wine-dark sea, and he offers to share his cod like a true gentleman.