Maybe it was week-10 fatigue breaking through, or the thought of facing class after an 8-hour work day, but as soon as I stepped into Gerlach Hall Monday night, my shoulders started to slump, sigh coming on. And then my mind whispered softly what my heart was already thinking: I hate the smell of you. Sure, it wasn’t always that way, but 5/6ths of the way through grad school, my love for Gerlach had faded. Like the film “500 Days of Summer,” what once was great has become intolerable.
In the 2009 romantic-comedy flick, the movie scenes bounce among the 500 days that Tom Hansen, the hopeless romantic, has known Summer Finn, the hopelessly distant love interest. At first Tom loves everything about her, but as the romance flickers, burns and fades, he too slumps with dispassion.
I hate Summer.
I hate her crooked teeth.
I hate her 50’s haircut.
I hate her knobby knees.
Week 1: I love Gerlach Hall. I love its student lounge and lockers, mailboxes and Grad Pad. This is great!
Week 50: I hate Gerlach Hall. I hate the smell of you and spending all my time here. When will this be over?
Week 51: I didn’t mean it. We only have a few weeks left together. Your funky glass hats in the lounge are still fun, and I still like the theater-in-the round classrooms. Can’t you just bring back the mailboxes, though?
One of the blessings and curses of the MLHR program is the convenient location of all classes in Gerlach Hall. With the nearby parking garage and lots, it is one of the easiest buildings on campus to access. But, like any close relationship, what was once charming eventually becomes, well, a little stale. In some ways I miss the variety of classroom buildings from undergrad, and exploring new spaces. Sure I spent way too much time in Denny Hall, but for every Denny there was something new, like Lord Hall (R.I.P.) or Central Classrooms.
It’s not you Gerlach, it’s me. Maybe we just need to spend a little less time together, starting this summer!