Post- Magazine

why i love everett-poland [lifestyle]

how to make keeney your niche!

When I first saw my housing assignment in August, I had no idea what I was in for: I only knew I'd live in Everett-Poland. But what is it? One dorm? Two? And what is Keeney? I vaguely remembered Keeney from ADOCH (my tour group got lost in its halls), but…Everett-Poland? 

Six months later, I've grown more attached to a building than I had ever thought possible. It loves me, and I choose to love it back. Keeney, Ev-Pol especially, is absolutely lousy with red flags, though I have not only found ways to see past them—I have learned to embrace them. For any reader, this article can serve as a guide to enjoying your suboptimal living situation; for Keeney veterans, a spin on your traumatic first-year experience; or, for the class of 2028, a reminder to set reasonable expectations. You can make Keeney your home! And you can take my word for it.


If Ev-Pol's walls could talk, they'd have so much to unload that they'd be yapping until Keeney crumbles to the ground. So let's be thankful that they can't. Known for its extra-cold showers, lack of an elevator, and walls so sickly green that North Campus residents get nauseous at the sight, Ev-Pol is truly the sore thumb of Keeney. I admit this. Out of our five washing machines, there's typically one or two that are broken at any time, all the toilets are normally unflushed or clogged, and we don't talk about the single-stall bathrooms. But I've come to see Ev-Pol, which sits between the ever lofty Arch-Bron and the oft-forgotten James-Mead, as the steady heart of Keeney.

The key is to recode your criticism. Follow my lead: yes, that is mold that you thought was just black paint, but it gives that area of the ceiling a cute accent, and now you don't need to leave your room to get in touch with nature. And yes, those are flies in the single-stall bathroom, but isn't it impressive that they made it so far into the winter? And, in that bathroom, where the air is hellishly humid and heavy, doesn't it sort of feel like you're taking an outdoor shower in the tropics? And that walk to Arch-Bron when Ev-Pol's laundry machines are in use or dead: all Ev-Pol wants is for you to see the world.

Onto my fellow Ev-people. There really is something special about the characters in this dorm. They stampede you in the stairwells, cough a lot while sitting on the toilet for some reason, and leave the bathroom without washing their hands. But they do it all with a smile. Ev-Pol only wants to make you laugh. 

There are some moments when you know what happens in Ev-Pol you couldn't find anywhere else. For example, when you wake up and right before your eyes is the largest spider you have ever seen in your life strutting along a web that stretches from your nose to the lamp at your bedside, and your next-door neighbor helps you squash it to death. Or when you (inevitably) have to use the single-stall bathroom because it's the only reliable source of hot water, but when you step through the door, you're wading Croc-deep in cloudy bath-water. But fear not! The previous occupant assists you in pushing the flood water into the drain, using their flip-flop as a squeegee, and the room goes from swamp to shower in seconds. Thanks! These moments of kindness in Ev-Pol are really quite common. In fact, lots of what gives Ev-Pol its charm is its constant sensory stimulation: when the screaming never stops (it really never does); when the doors slam to no end; when the heat and AC in the lounge blast at the same time, so you both sweat and shiver—this is the music of Ev-Pol, and you just learn to love it.

Further, Ev-Pol is a structural wonder. Since its construction in 1950, it has never ceased to amaze its residents—myself included! One and a half semesters in, and I still get lost. Ev-Pol always keeps me on my toes. Nonetheless, I have come to learn that where Arch-Bron and James-Mead are not, Ev-Pol is. This building takes the unused space of Keeney and runs with it. It doesn't care about architectural conventions or its physical appearance, or even certain safety codes! Because of this, Ev-Pol is home to several innovative, liminal spaces that simply cannot be ADA approved—but you love to look at them from a distance, anyway. This also explains some of Ev-Pol's especially unique hallways—like the concave third floor extension which should really be James-Mead and makes you feel a little bit sorry for the people who live there. (I had to bend my neck down the only time I walked through there because the ceiling was too low). But think about the camaraderie there! The people of that enclave must be super close—both spatially and emotionally. Areas like this one also make for very fulfilling dorm exploration—with equal access to both Arch-Bron and James-Mead, Ev-Pol is the perfect origin. This dorm both brings us together and makes us wonder. We really do have it all.


Having fallen for Ev-Pol, I've realized—and you will too—that I cannot bear to forget what I've witnessed here. The scenes of Keeney, however scarring they may be, are not to be blocked out of our memories. Though I've certainly lost the last of my innocence to everything I've seen and heard here, it's all too special to neglect. Ultimately, I will miss the folks whose pull-ups in the door frames I duck under, whose dramatic FaceTimes in the lounge I deliberately overhear, and whose blissful sips of the sinks' lead-positive water I turn the other way from. Going forward, when I watch the stars at night, I might see the patterns of piss that have permanently stained the toilet seats, or, in the darkness, I may just feel what the Ev-Pol pranksters made me feel when they shut off all power with the unlocked breakers in the halls.

I love Ev-Pol because, inside the dorm, I can genuinely do nothing wrong. Every nick I make in the wall blends right in. Everyone looks just as nasty as I do in the sick-green halls. I farted? No, that's just how it smells here. The bar is truly on the floor. And, really, it's easy to love a place like this—one that couldn't judge you if it tried.

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