Monday, January 24, 2011

Why we're leaving New England

By now L. and I are boarding our plane on our way to Santa Barbara, but I wanted to leave you guys with a couple images of what we've had to deal with the last week in Williamstown and why our vacation couldn't come at a more perfect time. We've gotten a LOT of snow in the last month in Williamstown. Like...almost 40 inches a lot. And our roof? Well, it was built in 1901, isn't the sturdiest structure in the world, and isn't as sloped as it should be. So last Saturday night, I walked into my room and noticed the floor was soaking wet. I looked up, and realized that there was a GIANT crack in my ceiling, and water drops had formed along the entire crack and had soaked the floor and the bottom end of my bed. It did NOT look good. It was about 10:00pm on a Saturday night, so facilities wasn't open and I had to call security. They came by, decided it looked very unsafe, and said the on-call architectural tradesman would come by to take a look at it. Luckily, L.'s room with our nice cushy queen sized bed lives down the hall, so I didn't have to worry about sleeping there.

I'm not sure exactly what they did, but when I checked back the next morning and the ceiling, though still cracked, was at least dry. I figured they had chipped the ice off the roof, since the pressure from the build-up was what had caused the leakage in the first place. But THEN, Tuesday afternoon as I was headed into work the leak was back, and it looked worse. I called facilities and they promised to send someone over to fix it. When I got back at 5, I realized they interpreted "fix it" as "use duct tape to tape a giant tarp over the entire crack and try to make it drain over a bucket." My first thoughts were "wow, THAT is going to fill up with water and fall down," and wouldn't you know, two hours later it did just that--spilling water EVERYWHERE, including all over my bed. By now I was more than a little frustrated, so I called AGAIN and asked them to please fix the ceiling, rather than taping a temporary tarp over the problem. Another architectural tradesman came back and, I kid you not, put up ANOTHER tarp that was "better made" than the first, meaning he used a lot more duct tape. They said they wouldn't be able to permanently fix it until spring, when all the ice was off the roof.

By that time it was getting really late and I was sick of dealing with the problem, so I went down the hall to go sleep in L.'s room. I put on my jammies and crawled into his bed...only to discover that it was absolutely.completely.soaking.wet. The ceiling above HIS bed had opened up as well and was leaking steadily all over the bed. At that point, I couldn't take it anymore. It was late and I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was go to sleep in a warm bed. I made L. call security again, at which point they said, "didn't you already call about this?" He had to explain that no, I had called earlier, and now it was happening in his room too. FOUR officers showed up this time, followed by the poor architectural tradesman again, who had had to leave his warm house (on campus, to be fair) for the third time that night. Oh, and the reinforced tarp in my room had fallen yet AGAIN, so he had to fix that too.

By 3am that morning, this was what my ceiling looked like (photo not taken at 3am, as you can tell by the light through the window, and also because at that point I was way too pissed to be taking photos):

And this is what L.'s looked like:

We slept on a futon, got 4 hours of sleep before we had to get up for work, and were very grumpy. And that is one of many reasons why we need to escape to sunny Santa Barbara and sleep in a warm, dry bed.


  1. OMG that's awful! I hate that schools do that. My heat was broken when I got to school, so it was 100 degrees outside and my heat was at full blast. It took them a week to fix it. Did I mention my windows didn't open either?

  2. Such a pain! OMG. I would've been so PO-ed. :( I'm glad you have some time away from it and hopefully it'll be fixed when you return!

  3. holy moly!!!!!
    i don't even know how you stayed patient and gracious during all that! i would be SO furious!
    i can completely understand why you're thrilled to be traveling :)

  4. What kills me is your folks are probably paying a fortune to student housing and this is how they fix things. What if that had leaked over your computer? WTF? I'd be so mad. You poor girl. I hope you have a great vacation!