Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

If You Want to ‘Maco,’ Keep Blinds Down

Illustration usa Syeed

I arrived at Georgetown one gorgeous afternoon in August. The sun was slowly setting, and the light streamed through the trees adding a surreal atmosphere to it all. I must admit, that evening my first impression was one of, well, not exactly disappointment, but what I saw was not what I had imagined before. Everything had looked so different in the pictures. Healy was less imposing than I thought it would be, Copley Lawn was tiny and why on earth was everything made of red brick?

Ironically, in the days that followed, these became the very things for which I was grateful. Maybe the campus grew on me, or I grew into it, because Georgetown suddenly was not so small after all. Its size is just perfectly comfortable enough for me. I’m reminded to be grateful of this every time I have to run from Walsh at 2:10 p.m. for my Spanish class in ICC at 2:15 p.m. I’m still not sure about all this red brick, but it’s not as bad as it first seemed.

That evening though, the hardest pill to swallow was my room in Village C. It was painfully tiny. How was I going to live in this miniscule space with another human being I had never met in my life before? I began to think that I had made a mistake in choosing Village C over Harbin. Was the bathroom really worth the loss of extra space? I even began to think that New South might have been better. Thankfully though, these thoughts quickly fled from my mind. The people in Harbin can keep their space. When I come home at 3 a.m. I can take a shower in the privacy of my own bathroom. And the New South idea must have been a moment of pure insanity. That place is just too loud and dirty. I also stopped thinking of my room as small, because every time people came over they would scream about it being so huge. After looking at their rooms I must say that I agree … I definitely got lucky.

Anyone who says that Village C is not social has obviously never lived there. Either that or they just didn’t have my view. By far the most wonderful aspects of my room are my windows. They are huge and the view is to die for. The sun rises over the top of Healy and Dahlgren Chapel, its rays bouncing off the tower and streaming through the trees. Every morning the sight of slate roofs and a tower of stone greet my eyes, and I can imagine myself in any medieval town in Europe. But usually I don’t need to imagine being in Europe, I get enough entertainment otherwise because the tower and the chapel aren’t the only things I see.

From my room I have a perfect view of the Village C Patio. In Trinidad we have the verb “to maco.” It means to mind other people’s business, and it’s more than just an attitude – it’s a hobby, a pastime, a way of life. Unfortunately, unlike most Trinidadians I am a bad maco. But, if I ever needed practice then this is definitely the place to be. I see everyone who comes in and out of Village C. I know who all the routine smokers on the green benches are and with a little more practice I could probably tell you what were their regular times.

By far the most fascinating times to be looking out of my window, however, are on Friday and Saturday nights. Things really start to kick off around 11 p.m. The patio is alive with people doing the social rounds. I have a suspicion about some of those people. Most of them are people on their way out to clubs and parties. But I very much suspect that some of those people just get dressed up to go out onto the patio. They pretend that they are on their way out to a club while in reality they revolve around the patio, moving from group to group from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. And of course, weekend nights would not be the same without the 2 a.m. game of touch football or catch as the case may be. And just for the record, never ask the football players (all of whom live in Village C) why they move around in herds … they don’t take to it kindly.

So I’ve spent most of my time looking out … but a little while ago a horrible realization dawned on me … other people can look in. I was peacefully walking home from the library one night when, at the top of the walkway leading to Village C, I looked up. And then it hit me, I could see into my room very clearly. Which meant that every one else could see into my room very clearly. I frantically ran up to my room and tried to get the blinds down. After half an hour of pulling and tugging I finally succeeded, recalling all the time that the entire freshman class of 2006 has probably already seen me in my bra. The only consolation I could find was that they were all probably too drunk to remember.

At any rate, I’ve certainly learned my lesson. If you want to maco, keep the blinds down. Shame on me because that really should be instinctual for any true Trini. Also, in the past couple weeks I’ve gradually gotten myself a life, so I don’t spend as much time looking out anymore as I did in the beginning. But, if I’m ever bored or in the need of some cheap and easy relaxation I have the comfort of knowing that I don’t have to leave my room to be happy. All I have to say is, beware, you never know if I’m watching.

P.S. I’m majoring in espionage.

Maryam Mohamed is a freshman in the School of Foreign Service. Window to My World runs every other Friday in The Hoya.

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