“Bells, Bells, Bells, Bells”

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It’s hard to tell in this photo of the back of Cabot Hall, but it was covered with ivy, hence the name Ivy League(really I don’t know if that is the origin of the name!) Living in the dorm meant getting acquainted with 100 girls, dorm parents, and many specific rules and routines.

One practice that everyone had assigned to them was sitting on the “bells desk.” These shifts lasted three hours, usually a couple of times a month. You sat at a desk in the lobby and greeted anyone who came into the dorm. Girls were allowed to go upstairs at any time to visit with friends. Boys, however, were a whole other story. Boys were only allowed upstairs for 3 hours on Sunday afternoon. Otherwise, they had to announce their presence to the person on “bells.”

The desk person then rang the hall phone on the floor of the girl being visited and told whoever answered that someone had a “gentleman caller.” Yep, we actually had to say it that way. We also had the unpleasant assignment of letting a boy know that a girl was out. Bells also sorted the mail, answered the phone and took messages for girls that were out.

The building was locked at 11 on weekdays and 2 on weekends. If you were later than that getting back, you were out of luck. It was amusing on some evenings to see huddled pairs of students getting in their last few minutes of “conversation” before the building was locked.

As for those three hours on Sunday afternoon, alone in your room with a boy,  you were required to have three out of the four feet in question on the floor at any time. That rule continues to baffle and amuse me.

11 thoughts on ““Bells, Bells, Bells, Bells”

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