On Monday I was approached by my good friend Reuben Ng, who (along with Kate Yoder and Jared Miller’s calls to Inside/Outside Voices) ensures that the Goshen College Record makes you laugh every Thursday when you pick up your copy and skip directly to the back page. Actually, Mr. Ng didn’t have to approach me, as we were already sitting next to each other in Biology Senior Seminar. Ng, a Junior Biology major, seemed to think that I might possess the ability to tickle the funny bones of you, my dear students and peers. How mistaken one man can be. However, I assure you that if my intention was to tickle you in any way, I would be chasing you around campus with a feather. Fear not, for all the feathers I can find are currently being stuffed between layers of quilting fabrics and piled on my bed, and I do not have sufficient caloric reserves to engage in such energy-expending tomfoolery. This brings me to the subject of this article, which is the grave situation we have here in Goshen this time of year, and its implications for my current living situation.You newcomers may not be aware that Goshen is teetering on the edge of a dark, frozen abyss. You may not know (in the words of Prude House recycling expert Andrew “Grandpa” Glick) that “a Midwestern winter [unlike Boulder, CO where “Andy” is moving this January] is something wet and gray that chills you to the bone.” Here at Prude House, we are deeply aware of this fact. Yet we are also ardently committed to abstaining from burning fossil fuels for home heating. Indeed, we are passionate about sustainability (and the thickness of our wallets). Dear reader, you may see these realities as inherently contradictory, but let me assure you that for the brilliant minds which call 1405 S Main Street their home, there is no need to freeze (except applesauce and dumpster-dived chicken wings).
Currently, my people and I are Prudently pursuing a panoply of permanent, proven solutions to our dearth of warmth. The “Prude Life” Facebook page is aflutter with creative heating ideas as unique as individual snowflakes:
1) Resident dumpster diver and typewriter enthusiast Martin Hofkamp has recently suggested that we install flowerpot/candle convection heaters in each room. You probably have never heard about this technology, but Martin saw a YouTube video about it or something.
2) Passionate Learning has taught us that the consumption of hot water beverages has been known to decrease the body’s sensitivity to cold.
3) Yours truly (the author) is working with Sustainability Coordinator Glenn Gilbert on developing an indoor composting system to put those microbes to work in heating our house and preparing for the warmer gardening days ahead.
4) No Shave November
5) We continue to invite many people for meals and “just to hang out.” What they don’t know is that we depend on their body heat to keep us warm. If you are interested in contributing to this endeavor, and don’t mind having to eat a meal that consists mostly of rice or pasta, I encourage you to sign up with any Prude House resident. (But seriously!)
In the meantime (that’s pro tempore to you, Kate), as the snow starts falling outside, and the fierce icy winds begin to blow, I’ll promise my housemates that I am only giving the furnace a “test run,” put another blanket on the bed, and see if Andrew wants to snuggle. Stay warm, dear Goshen College.