My day started out just like any other day with class at MGU would; wake up, shower, grab a quick bite to eat, then walk over to the eleven-story building where are classes were. Having had breakfast with some of my fellow Carleton students, we all walked over to class together. It was our last day of class and as I strolled around campus for what would be one of the last times, I made sure to take as many deep breaths of the late spring air as I could. From grey to green, the complete transformation that MGU’s campus has undergone in the eight weeks we have spent here is astounding. I realize how much I am going to miss this beautiful campus as we approach our building.
Past the guard gate and we all take our usual pause as we stood in the middle of the lobby for a few moments. With our five classes each in different rooms and spread across three floors of this massive building, it takes a second to remember the correct floor and room number. We scrambled to the right set of elevators (half of them stop on odd floors and the other half stop on even) and piled in seven people. The elevator shot up to the sixth floor no problem, but then tragedy struck. One of the five Carleton students in the elevator thought it would be “funny” to prolong our journey and just as the doors were closing, he reached for the door open button and smacked it. Disaster. We had confused the elevator and instead of going up or opening the door, it decided to do neither and just sit there. A few seconds passed as we slowly began to realize the gravity of our situation.
We immediately hit the call button to try and receive some help from the lady who works with the broken elevators. It became apparent that we weren’t the first group of kids that this has happened to. A muffled reply and some random button smashing brought no success and soon we were heading into the fifth minute of our wait. The metal box we were confined in was becoming rather steamy. A tiny fan above the door seemed to be whirring but the effects couldn’t be felt by any of us. Conversation was started with the other elevator mates and we learned that the man who had quietly been standing in the corner was also an American. A pleasant surprise in a time of troubles.
Tenth minute. I begin to see sweat beads forming on one of my classmate’s forehead. The humidity is impossible to not notice at this point. I was managing the heat well at that point, no sweating yet but I was beginning to question if help was even on the way. Casually talking with one of the Carleton students, the Russian student in the other corner of the elevator bumped into the conversation to ask an interesting question. Myself and one other student were wearing shorts and she asked, in great English to add, if we wear shorts to class in America. We replied yes and the look on her face let me know she was taken back by our response. Inquiring further, she let us know that in Russia it is disrespectful to our professors if we wear shorts to class. Interesting. It was rare to see students walking about campus with shorts on, but we had no idea it was out of respect for their professors.
Twentieth minute and a glimmer of hope arrived. The electronic display flashed briefly and then showed two dashes as opposed to the six we had grown accustomed to. Someone was coming for our aid. Seconds later and we were shooting down the elevator shaft. As we came to the bottom floor, we could hear arguing right outside the metal door as it tried several times to creak open. When the door finally unlatched itself, we were greeted by an unexpected and rather hilarious scene. Our professor, who’s class we were now twenty minutes late to, was on the bottom floor yelling at the elevator repair man standing right around the corner. She was clearly not pleased with his performance and was letting the entire first floor know.
What a way to start the last day of class. Only being a bit sweaty afterwards, I walked away from the ordeal unscathed and picked up some useful and interesting cultural information. I would rate the experience an 8/10 overall, would recommend to future students from Carleton and around the world but only if you have an awesome professor who is willing to unleash her fiery wrath on the lazy elevator repair man.