Tag Archives: college

Street Smarts II: The Roommate From Hell

24 Feb

I don’t think anything could have prepared my cousin for this little adventure. Not even street smarts, well maybe it would have helped her prevail, but prevent … no. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or just weirdness. But just yesterday I wrote about my cousins, street smarts, and being aware of their surroundings when going to college.  They both have plenty of book smarts, but lack the street smarts instilled by the barrio. In our little conversation, I forgot to mention that sometimes you encounter the roommate from hell … and she drinks.


Under-age drinking still occurs on many campuses, and stupidity comes along with it. But sometimes stupidity is not the only personality trait that accompanies alcohol.

Apparently my cousin had returned from a party with her friends and had not invited her roommate. Well … more like she gave her the shaft because the roommate was a little too Jennifer Jason Leigh from Single White Female.


Image via Wikipedia

So when she returned from the party the roomate wasn’t there. My cousin got her laptop and began surfing the net. Just as she was getting cozy the roommate came home, plastered and pretty hostile about being left behind. Sentences full of profanity and attitude followed. Then she snapped and began punching and kicking my cousin like one of those cage fighters.

My cousin was A) pretty shocked that this happened and B) confused that the chick who shares her toothpaste would freak out about not “running into” each other at a party. My cousin did her best to fend off the crazy roommate, I think the computer got pretty beat up too. After a couple of minutes the other roommate heard the yelling and screams and was able to break it up. Street smarts would not have prevented this, but I’m pretty sure it would have given my cousin the upper hand.

My cousin went to the dorm’s main entrance and spoke with the campus community service officer at the front desk. They called in about seven police officers. My cousin didn’t have any broken bones or sprains, just a lot of redness and some bruising on her arms and leg. She told them about the events and sure enough the boys in blue said they could have her arrested on the spot, but my cousin has a good heart and said no. She thought it was an isolated incident, even though the roommate drinks all the time. She thought perhaps when the roommate awoke she would have remorse. I probably would’ve had another answer, something involving handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit.

So according to campus policy the roommate from hell needed to be aware that A) she could be facing criminal charges, B) she was permanently getting kicked out of campus housing, and C) there would be a disciplinary hearing regarding the incident, her underage drinking, and probation, or possible expulsion.

They escorted my cousin back to her room to get her belongings and inform the roommate of her status. As they opened the door, they didn’t find a teary-eyed roommate from hell full of guilt or remorse. They found the roommate from hell half-naked on the floor making out with another chick and getting rug burns on body parts.


If you’re not pressing charges, at least get a restraining order. This chick is from the Twilight Zone, only hostile, stupid, and horny.





Street Smarts: Sometimes Too Aware For Your Own Good

23 Feb

A while back my family got into a conversation about street smarts and book smarts. We thought about my two younger cousins and how they had the privilege of growing up in good neighborhoods and didn’t really need to cultivate street smarts. But as they get ready to go to college we began “the talks,” trying to educate them on street smarts, college life, and boys.

As we began talking about parties, the buddy system, and being aware of their surroundings, I remembered my own college experience and how one evening I became too aware for my own good.

I wish I could say I was coming back from a party or football game, but the truth was it was a late study session at the library. I know, total nerd. But there were semesters where I’d play some serious catch-up and since I was a night-owl I figured why not.

So my school was the center of this city and often raised safety awareness for female students. Telegraph Avenue was pretty much the nexus of life. Cafe, shop, and restaurant owners usually stayed open late. But once you got passed the area, the side streets were dimly lit and filled with bushes and trees where any crazy pedafile could pounce on you.

So the school usually had community officers that would escort you back home if you felt the need to do so. You know, some college dude that wanted to be a cop and was doing his service hours or something. You had to think of random conversation topics, because you didn’t want to walk in silence all the way to your apartment. I didn’t feel the need to talk about the best mochaccinos in cafes, seeing how I didn’t drink coffee and all.  I was also in a rush and didn’t feel like waiting at the library to get picked up, and since I only lived a couple blocks north of  the avenue I figured it would be all right. I had street smarts. I was a bad ass and I had mace. I’d be fine.

English: Pepper spray Polski: Gaz pieprzowy OC...

Image via Wikipedia

So as I finished my walk down the avenue and made a left onto my tree-lined street, I constantly looked behind me to see if there was any crazies stalking me. Of course there wasn’t. Nobody was around, and I could still see the avenue street lights and thought I’d be fine. I was almost home and then that’s when it happened … I had an idea.

I don’t know if it was because of lack of sleep or too much studying crammed into one session that knocked the common sense out of my street smarts, but it happened.  I scanned the area, making sure no one was around. As I was putting my mace away I notice the expiration date was in a few years. I thought, man I must have got a new can. I thought I don’t even know if this thing works. I mean what if it’s like a new pen, you know. You have to scribble-scrabble a couple of times before the ink comes out. So I thought I would test it out. I mean I had to be careful, because in the safety video it said this mist penetrated Levi jeans. I mean you wouldn’t even have to spray the perp in the face. You could spray the family jewels, and they would feel a burning sensation so powerful that they would think their package was on fire.

So I stopped in the middle of the street and pointed the can downward and away from my face. As I pressed on the button a stream, followed by a powerful mist came spewing out of the canister. Then I could hear God laughing because a strong gust of wind came whooshing by in my direction and blew the mace right back in my face.


There I was … midnight in the middle of the street face burning,  blinded, crying and coughing. Mucus was everywhere. I could’ve totally been an episode of Law & Order. Luckily I had half a bottle of Aquafina left and I splashed that on my face. Still burning, still not breathing well. Not blinded, but blurry, like if I had cataracts. And still mucus everywhere. I ran back to my place the best I could and made it up the stairs. My roommate had a good laugh.

Sometimes I’m too aware for my own good.

So I informed my cousins that even though they didn’t posses a lot of street smarts, they would be all right as long as they didn’t test out mace canisters in the middle of the night.