OK, so I made a mistake. Sleepy and stressed, I rushed out of my Claverly Hall dorm room for an exam early Saturday morning and left my keys and wallet locked safely inside.
Even before the heavy wooden door shut behind me, I felt that sinking feeling in my stomach that told me something was terribly wrong. But it was too late. And my roommate--who would normally be there to let me back in--was in New York, hundreds of miles away.
With only five minutes left until the start of my test, there was little time to ponder the helplessness of my situation, or the possibility that this was God's way of punishing me for taking an exam on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.
Just over an hour and a half later, my exam completed, I returned to the scene of the lockout. Standing on the steps in front of Claverly, I pondered where next to turn.
As an official resident of Lowell House, the obvious place to turn would be to Jay Coveney, Lowell House superintendent. But Jay isn't in on Saturdays, and what's more, he couldn't help even if he were.
Claverly Hall, which houses overflow residents from Lowell and Adams House, is managed by Ronnie Levesque, superintendent of Quincy House.
Why should the superintendent of the largest house at the College manage a building that contains residents of two other houses but not his own? Good question. Wrong editorial.
For me, it didn't matter that Ronnie Levesque oversees Claverly Hall. It mattered that Levesque wasn't available on Saturday.
The sign in front of his locked and darkened office instructed students to call the Control Center in case of an emergency.
The Control Center has a very official title. It sounds like the kind of place from which space shuttles are launched.
"We've done that too, but we keep a low profile on that," said Mark E. Remaly, the very friendly systems operator who took my call.
"We basically get all the calls [from all over campus] and send out either a mechanic or put in a work order to have work done. Plus we monitor all kinds of alarms, fire alarms, computers, we dispatch all kinds of people, we page people," Remaly said. "It's a center for communications and it's a central location for all kinds of emergencies."
Emergencies? Perfect! Could they let a desperate student back into his room?
Sorry, no luck.
"The police handle that, unless it's a mechanical problem," Remaly said. "If somebody lost their key, the police would handle that. We're not supposed to handle it."