“Say What???”


So many changes hit me in a short period of time after I arrived at my college home that it will take a few posts to convey the impact of that first year. I am grateful to Geoff Le Pard who blogs as TanGental for his series of posts about arriving at his university. His reminiscences awoke many of my own, long in deep storage. Our experiences were quite different, but his sense of culture shock rang a bell.

As I settled into my dorm room, after trudging up three flights of stairs and locating it on the far end of the building, I heard a loud rant coming from across the hall. It was a woman screaming the “f-word” at the top of her lungs yelling somewhat like “f” my “f”ing shoes, where the “f” are they? Today I suppose that would have no effect on an 18 year old girl. However, not only had I never heard a girl talk like that, I had never even heard an adult man use that language. The worst word I ever heard with any frequency, and that almost exclusively from men, was “damn.”

I can clearly recall walking on into my room, climbing up to my top bunk(the bottom already having been claimed by my new roommate)(without consultation–another shock) and wondering what I had just done. And whose idea was this anyway? Oh, yeah. Mine.


48 thoughts on ““Say What???”

      1. yes, it was coed by suite. most dorms STILL don’t have it this way. I have a daughter leaving for college this fall and they have no co-ed dorms…. 🙂 and I am THRILLED.


  1. I am old enough to remember when women weren’t as ‘bad’ as men in a number of things: language, aggressive driving, drugs, etc. I would’ve preferred that, in the name of equality, women not descend to the level of men, but men rise closer to the level of women. But the latter was never going to happen, and so here we are. Son of a bitch!

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  2. Took the bottom bunk without any discussion? The nerve! Why, even in Army Basic Training, my cubicle mate and I talked about it (briefly), flipped for it and I lost. It took seconds but there were no hard feelings. 😉


        1. That makes sense as to the vast differences. Our daughter lives in Bend. On our first trip to Oregon I felt like a three-year-old looking at mountains and forests.


  3. My background was also sheltered, Elizabeth. I never went to university, I studied through a correspondence university and worked the whole time. A bit like now with this Covid-19 pandemic, I have worked the whole time, it is my destiny [smile].


    1. I think I might have learned a lot through correspondence, since my life after school has been through my own reading and viewing. I worked all through college, by the way, though not full time except in the summers. And I worked until I retired–from 11 to 60 essentially.


  4. Oh how times have changed! I worked in a college for a while and remember being in the girls’ washroom, washing my hands at the sink, when a group of students came in. Every second word out of their mouths was the f-word. I think they needed to take more English classes to expand their repertoire of adjectives.


    1. Many years later we lived across the street from a pair of brothers who only had two words in their vocabulary, beginning with “f” and “sh.” I was astonished at how many parts of speech they were able to fill with those two words. It got comical after a while. Disgusting but comical.


  5. That would have been a big culture shock Elizabeth!
    I had a conservative upbringing too & only heard that word after I had left home…a word I still find offensive to this day!


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