I live on the fourth floor of Lanman Wright Hall on Old Campus, notoriously known as L-dub. At night, I walk up four flights of stairs and climb up a not-so-stable ladder to get to my bed.
Despite the building’s notoriety, I love living in L-dub. Why? Because the bonds formed in such close quarters are unbreakable.
My good friend, Devon Sawyer ’26, has the questionable fortune of living on the first floor. When I enter the L-dub courtyard to go to my room, I often find myself in his instead. Our more athletic friends (or maybe our less wimpish ones) even climb through a window to enter Devon’s common room, just for kicks. We stay for hours. That common room is where I learned how to play chess. Oh, and did I mention that his window was egged? Twice?
The physical structure of Lanman Wright Hall has proven perfect for a vibrant social scene. Besides entering a friend’s dorm through the courtyard, you can also hang out in the courtyard itself, where you’ll find a different group of equally welcoming people every day. When I walk up the steps and into the courtyard, I’m greeted with a smile and oftentimes a conversation waiting to happen.
And although this is cliché, the less conventionally positive aspects of the living space do in fact strengthen bonds. If you’re squeamish, be wary of the following story. If not, sit back and enjoy the ride.
Last semester, I was at a meal with my roommates, and I hadn’t been in our dorm all day. One could imagine my surprise to find out at mealtime that in one of our bathroom stalls (shared by twelve girls) was an actual piece of fecal matter … on the floor. The working theory was that someone, not in their best state, had “missed” the toilet.
When I arrived back at the building, I felt I needed to see this with my own two eyes. Otherwise, the story of “shit on the floor” was as good as fiction. So I entered the stall, and there it was resting lopsidedly on the tiled floor.
Do my eyes deceive me? I thought. Maybe this is chocolate.
Exercising a qualitative test, I even leaned in and took a whiff. My eyes did not deceive me!
Sure, it was gross, but I laugh about it and even admire its absurdity to this day. My floor grew closer because of it. The whodunnit gossip was hilarious, and we had a boatload of fun trying to piece together the “shit on the floor” mystery together at our communal sink.
“I bet it was one of those girls from Entryway E,” said one of my floormates, referring to the other freshmen whose dorm is attached to our bathroom but who are technically not allowed to use it because they’re from another entryway. Scapegoating is fun!
In yet another instance of L-dub shenanigans, two Pierson FroCo groups (Pierson and Berkeley frosh live in L-dub) attended a mandatory “fireside chat” with our wonderful FroCos, dean and head of college. The event was meant to be something of a check-in, and we took polls about how we were coping with college life. One of them asked us what surprised us most about life at Yale, and one of the multiple choice options was L-dub. When asked to explain why he had chosen this answer, one of my peers said, “There was bloodshit in the toilet!”
“Bloodshit?” repeated our administrators in fascination and humored shock. “You get more ice cream for that.”
It may be gross, but “bloodshit” became our collective joke of the night. Have you ever bonded with your head of college like that? I didn’t think so.
Yeah, L-dub isn’t the Ritz. We don’t have much space or hygiene or high-maintenance class. But we do have friendship, humility and the ability to laugh at ourselves. You call it a last resort, but I call it good fortune.
I live on the fourth floor of Lanman Wright Hall. At night, I walk up four flights of stairs and climb up a not-so-stable ladder to get to my bed. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.