378 Dorm Life


Miki talks about living in the dorms.

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Todd: Miki, when you were in college where did you live?

Miki: My first year I lived in the dormitory that was quite close to the campus. It was about a five minute walks so it was very convenient but I'm not sure that that many people actually enjoyed living in the dormitory because there were so many of us packed into such a small space that one did not get a sense of privacy at all. I shared a room with two other girls and 24 hours a day there was always someone near you, next door, down the hall if not in your own room, and a very small space. In Japan perhaps this wouldn't have been such a large problem because the sense of personal space and privacy perhaps isn't as strong growing up, but really in the United States if you grow up with you own room, it you grow up with your own sense of self and if, you know, you have personal space that you define just instinctively which, you know, maybe three feet in front of you, a meter, or if you have your own personal room itself, it's very difficult to move from that sort of sense of individuality and personal private space, to move into the dorms, and to have to share, all of that, and then always have a smile on your face, if you don't want to be considered a bitch.

Todd: Yeah, so what about food? What did you eat for food? Did you have a kitchen? Did you cook?

Miki: In the dormitories, no! We had a dining hall. I don't quite remember what it was called, but it was a common area where everyone went downstairs at the same time. It was only open, three hours in the morning, 3 hours in the evening, and we all shared our time together, kind of like a family, I suppose, and we must have eaten just normal American food. I don't remember.
Todd: Yeah! Yeah! How about your laundry? How would you wash your clothes?

Miki: That I forget! I think we had laundry machines every other floor in the dorm building. But I actually don't remember. Sorry!

Todd: And what would students do for fun? for socializing?

Miki: Oh, I think the bigger question is whether students did anything besides socialize, you know, right, I mean, if you're a freshman the chances of you actually doing work are actually quite small, especially in that sort of a social setting where,

Todd: Even at Beckley?

Miki: Oh, are you kidding me? Yes! Berkley is highly competitive but it's also highly, it's a highly social atmosphere, especially in the dorms, well, and then once you move into a communal area, if you're there with your friend, then I don't think a whole lot of studying goes on.

Todd: Wow! That's funny! Oh, thanks!

Miki: Surely!

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

private

There were so many of us packed into such a small space that one did not get a sense of privacy at all.

When something is 'private' it means that it is not made public or common knowledge and only certain people are allowed access to it.

Notice the following:

  1. We are not allowed to walk on there as it is private property.
  2. She is a very private person.

sense of self

If you grow up with your own room, if you grow up with your own sense of self.

To have a 'sense of self' means that you know your own mind and personality very well. You understand yourself and know who you are.

Notice the following:

  1. She has a very good sense of self and she will not let others influence her.
  2. I grew up in a very large family, so I did not really get a sense of self until I was a lot older.

instinct

You have personal space that you define just instinctively.

Your 'instinct' is a natural sense that you have. It a way that you will act without having to think about it.

Notice the following:

  1. I think in life you have to just follow your instincts sometimes.
  2. Animals act on their instincts a lot of the time.

socialize

And what would students do for fun? for socializing?

When you 'socialize' it means that you meet and interact with other people on an informal level.

Notice the following:

  1. The best way to meet new friends is just to get out there and socialize.
  2. I think I would say that socializing is one of my main hobbies.

communal

Once you move into a communal area, if you're there with your friend, then I don't think a whole lot of studying goes on.

When something is 'communal' it means that it is shared by lots of people.

Notice the following:

  1. We all share a communal kitchen and lounge.
  2. I never liked doing sport at school because I did not like using the communal changing rooms.

 

Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Below are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
private • sense • instinct
socializing • communal
  1. The hardest part to get used to in the dormitory was the bathroom.
  2. I would probably get more work done at the library if I didn't spend so much time .
  3. University is a great place to create a real of self.
  4. My first is that you should go even if you don't want to.
  5. The bathroom in that store is , not public.