My first priority was to furnish my bed: multiple fleece blankets and pillows for optimal comfort and warmth. Next, I set up my bookshelves. Arranging my books – many of which I have yet to read, but which have been sitting patiently on my various shelves over the past few years – was an especially fulfilling experience. There’s something about the newness of my room (or maybe the larger space itself) that makes me feel like I will actually make room in my life to reading some of the books over the next few months. Someone once told me that I am relentlessly optimistic. While I’m not sure that I agree with this assessment, I suppose my ability to convince myself anew each semester that I’ll make a dent in my reading list is reflective of that constant optimism.
Much to my dismay, my Big New Room came with a Really Old Radiator. Over winter break, I discovered that the radiator was leaking – spraying scalding hot water from an opening between two parts of the valve, and dripping more water onto the linoleum floor. I was adjusting the heat one morning last week when the entire knob came out of the socket. I don’t have much technical experience with radiators, but I’m pretty sure that’s not supposed to happen. Since then, I’ve woken up each morning to a little stream of water running down the middle of my floor. Needless to say, I need to put in a work order to have my radiator fixed. Someone else might have submitted the work order the first time they discovered a problem with the radiator, but I’ve put up with it for almost two weeks now. I say all this, because it’s an example of procrastination – a skill (if I can even call it that) I mastered in high school, and which I still struggle with.