La Verne Magazine
"The University of La Verne: A Day in the Life"
3 a.m.-6 a.m.:
While You Were Sleeping...
by Cherryl F. Cercado
photography by Veero Der-Karabetian
5:45 a.m. In the quiet of the early sunrise, Clifton Tiddle, campus safety
agent, performs one of his many duties during his shift from midnight to
8 a.m. Tiddle, a political science major, shuffles classes and work.
At 3:01 a.m., Studebaker-Hanawalt Residence Hall (Stu-Han) takes on
a new personality. She is far from boisterous, far from cozy and far from
lively. There is not one single peep from one single person or a single
creak from a single door. All is silent in Stu-Han.
She is different from the Stu-Han of several hours ago, when friends
were meeting in the hallway to make a midnight run to Jack in the Box, while
others were coming in from the night to get ready for bed. Different, too,
because there is not one soul in the study lounge poking her nose into a
book; no one is screaming at the television or playing pool or ping-pong
in the main lounge. You will not even run into somebody heating up food
in the microwave or see someone in front of the double doors waiting for
a guest to arrive.
In the stillness of Stu-Han at 3:43 a.m., the soda machine, imperceptible
during the day, now spews out a thunderous rhythmic whir, deafening to the
ears. It sings to no one in particular, then abruptly stops.
On the other side of campus, at the Oaks Residence Hall, a student sleeps
on the couch of the D-Bottom lobby. When lightly tapped on the shoulder
and asked "why," his only reply is a mumbled and irritated, "Because."
He rolls away from the voice that is interrupting his slumber. All is
quiet on D-Bottom.
At 4:29 a.m., Michelle Ballard, freshman, drowsily makes her way up
the stairs of Wing 3 at Stu-Han. Slowly and with some effort, she finally
reaches her room. She has just returned from her boyfriend's house in Pomona,
and she is anxious to go to bed. Her first class is Spanish at 8:30 in the
morning. But her foremost concern is not sleep. As she puts it, "I
don't want my coach to know about this."
She disappears in the darkness of her room, careful not to wake her
The only other creatures that are awake at this time are the beastly-looking
possums who speedily and silently scurry from one bush to another. Large
enough to make the bravest of souls scream, the possums dominate the terrain,
chasing away the stray cats that wander through the University.
In contrast to the quiet of the morning, at 5:03 a.m., a Metrolink train
rumbles by the University. The powerful shrill of the train should wake
all those who are asleep. But students in the Oaks have become deaf to the
Everyone in the Oaks sleeps.
5:30 a.m. A 23 year veteran of Davenport, Rosa Holston,
affectionately called "the hawk" by students, rises with the roosters
in order to be at work by 5 a.m.
Davenport Dining Hall though, bustles with activity at 5:31 in the morning.
Davenport workers arrived at 5 a.m., sharp.
"Bakers come in and start making danishes, muffins and that kind
of thing," says Armen Ananian, food services director for Aramark.
"Cooks come in to start making breakfast, and we get ready to open
up at 7 o'clock. We have about six people in the kitchen now. Right now
we're making breakfast boxes for the football team because they're going
out of town today."
Ananian rises at 4 a.m., a time when most students and faculty are still
sleeping. He commutes from Glendale, and although the traffic is still fairly
light, it takes him about half an hour to reach La Verne.
But, for Rosa Holston, the commute to work is an easy 10 minute drive.
Holston, a resident of San Dimas, has been working at Davenport Dining Hall
for 23 years. As she stands at the shiny, silver counter fixing the the
toppings for breakfast, she describes her years at La Verne.
"The first few years, I came [to work] at about 8 in the morning,"
she says. "After that, I've been coming in at 5 a.m."
Since she rises early, bedtime for Holston is 9:30 at night. She tries
to strictly abide by that regiment, but she shyly admits, "If there's
a good movie on TV, then I'll stay up for that, and I'll go to bed at 11."
During her 23 years at La Verne, Holston has seen many students try
to sneak into Davenport Dining Hall without their meal card during the breakfast
and lunch hour. She is more amused than annoyed with the excuses students
give her. As some would say, she has perfected the craft of capturing students
and is considered an expert.
"Usually, I try to catch them before they get all the way in. Sometimes,
I don't get a chance to catch them before I get in, so when I get a chance
to leave my desk, I'll go and ask them to pay for the meal.
"Most of them are surprised and can't figure out how I caught them.
Some of them come from the different doors," she says with a sly laugh.
"I don't know; I think a lot of it is instinct, more or less. I have
a feel that someone's coming in from that door or the other door."
5:45 a.m. With a dash of walnuts, a handful of batter and a hefty mixture
of his own pride and hard work, Leo Santos, head baker, takes charge of
preparing desserts at Davenport. Santos has been with Davenport for 11 years
and heartily exclaims, "I love my job."
While workers at Davenport anticipate the morning breakfast crowd that
is yet to wake, Clifton Tiddle, campus safety agent, at 5:45 a.m is carefully
raising the United States' and the University's flags.
"Actually, this is the hardest part of my job, trying not to let
the flags touch the ground," he says seriously. He adds, after a brief
pause and a slight chuckle, "You can quote me on that, and then after
that you could say, 'He joked.'"
Tiddle assumes his security position at midnight and does not end his
shift until 8 o'clock in the morning. During that time, he is responsible
for patrolling the campus, checking doors and making sure that various alarms
are armed. In the residence halls, he checks for propped doors and open
windows. He also provides the escort service during this time period.
At 6 a.m., the two flags hang limply, despite the slight breeze. Signs
of life are starting to appear as people start to frequent various locations
of the campus. But all is still quiet in Stu-Han. Except for the soda machine.
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