La Verne Magazine
"The University of La Verne: A Day in the Life"
6 p.m.-9 p.m.:
An Evening Start
by Judy Polanco
photography by Starr Carroll
7:00 p.m. Don Thibodeaux, freshman; Liron Wilson, junior; Carl Caston,
senior; and Ordel Williams, sophomore; hold court at the ASF lip sync contest.
Gently guiding the thin blue bar upwards with his attention never wavering
from the clock as the seconds countdown, senior Luis Lua waits for the perfect
split second to mark his arrival. Before silence can attack the airwaves,
he draws the microphone near with his right hand, clears his throat, and
depresses a single red-squared button on a control board that looks like
you would need a flight manual to operate.
"It's six o'clock, and you're listening to 550 KULV with Luis Lua."
Lua, wearing a half-grin, knows that it was a perfect announcement. For
the next two hours, Natalie Merchant, Alanis Morrisette, and Beck will be
the only company Lua will know.
In the room next door to the KULV studio, Echelle Avelar, sophomore,
and Eric Bishop, assistant professor of journalism, are putting the finishing
touches on Avelar's sport story. Her page is filled with various red geometric
figures and foreign symbols that only a trained journalist would know how
to decipher in a second. Bishop reads a line and raises his eyebrows, revealing
a devilish grin in his eyes and face. Avelar knows what is coming next,
and, before she even has the opportunity to reach for it, Bishop hands her
a seemingly friendly paperback book, "Consult the style guide,"
he says in a stern but smirking tone. "It will be done tonight,"
she says. We'll be here until 10," Bishop concludes.
The blinds are drawn in the commuter lounge. The lights are on, but
the door is closed. Small chunks of dirt and grass sprinkle the lounge entry
way. The mumbling of deep voices are barely audible, as two players of the
football team are involved in a meeting with Coach Jim Lynch. He is actively
instructing Sotero Alarcon and Nathan Robinson on new plays for this weekend's
game against Sonoma State. "We've had to make some position changes
because of injuries," says Lynch. Determined to learn these "last
minute changes," Alarcon and Robinson look so serious that not even
the echoes and vibrations of whistles and running feet from the gym floor
above can grab their attention away.
A single navy blue baseball cap emerges from within the pages of a threateningly
thick sociology book. It is half past six o'clock, and Maynard McClarion
has been tackling two tasks at once for the last 10 minutes. Not only is
McClarion overseeing the workout area, he is also preparing for his first
test of this semester. He is unsure of the contents of the test, unsure
of what exactly to study, and unsure of how he will perform. But he is certain
about one thing, "right now, it's kind of grim." With uncertainties
written all over his face, McClarion stares out into the distance for a
brief respite and then apprehensively turns the page. In the distance, the
theme song for the "Simpsons" plays to an audience of no one.
Humid air smelling like decades of sweat permeate throughout the Hanawalt
fitness center weight room. The clinging and clacking of weights are in
rhythm to the Metallica song playing. With one final exhausting exhale,
Jeff Pang completes eight repetitions of a decline bench press with 70 pounds
gripped in his hands. Pang is joined with his regular work out partner J.R.
Gonsalves, who have both been going strong for the past 45 minutes. For
the next hour and 15 minutes, Pang and Gonsalves will continue to "work
out hard." "When I go home I stink, but that's because I work
out hard," says Gonsalves.
Copper toned waves are laid to rest in the evening sky announcing the
arrival of a shy crescent moon and the seven o'clock hour. As the night
embraces the ULV campus, five classroom lights are made visible in Founders
Hall. A white sports car stealthily squeezes into the last available parking
stall on Third Street.
At the same time, a dark colored jeep pulls up to the crosswalk to unload
a passenger. From a scene reminiscent of a grade school child, graduate
student Ryan Plescha leans over the car seat to kiss his wife good-bye.
As Plescha steps out of the jeep, he throws his backpack over his right
shoulder and heads toward Founders Hall. His wife waits until he reaches
the top of the stairs before she begins to pull away. Plescha looks over
his right shoulder to catch a quick glimpse before entering the building
that he will reside in for the next three hours.
Across the way, a tall thin figured shadow blankets the sidewalk of
the side entrance to the chapel. Sounds from a locked door and clattered
keys mix with the vibrations from automobiles whizzing by on Bonita Avenue.
In an instant, the shadow discloses its creator-security guard Tom Pokorski.
Pokorski is "making the rounds" dressed in a white-collared shirt,
midnight blue shorts and black tennis shoes. His muddy shoes squeak against
the wet grass, leaving a trail of footprints to the entrance of Brandt Hall.
It's 7:10 p.m., and the bottom floor of Brandt is dark and desolate.
The only signs of life are the culminations of various songs piercing the
air. Freshman Grant Acosta takes advantage of the unpopulated hallway and
finds a brief moment of privacy while he is speaking to his girlfriend on
the phone. Everyday, Acosta talks with the girlfriend he misses. But this
evening he won't have to miss his girlfriend from afar. Tonight he is "getting
directions to where she is staying."
There is one open door at the end of the hallway. Inside room 101, the
only thing on is the television set tuned in to "Buzz." The set
sprays traces of light throughout the room. Pathways to the door, restroom
and beds are through the abundance of dirty laundry strewn on the floor.
On the bottom bunk is junior Kyprian Harasymowycz, recuperating from volleyball
practice. In a single bed placed against the north wall lies his brother
Greg, wrapped in a beige sheet sound asleep. At 7:20 p.m. neither Kyprian
nor the slumbering Greg are ready to call it a night.
"I'm just lying down for now. Actually, I have some accounting
to finish," says Kyprian in a relaxed tone of voice.
Two floors up, freshmen Farrah Kahn and Maxine Mitchell are mentally
preparing to do some pre-calculus homework. But before the studying can
begin, Mitchell informs Kahn that "Paul stopped by.""Oh,
he did." Immediately Kahn gets on the phone to talk with her friend
Paul. Pre-cal homework can wait but speaking with Paul can't; it's urgent.
At the other end of the campus, fully lit Miller Hall distinguishes
itself from the darkness. Even at 8 p.m., numerous conversations and vocal
variations echo throughout the building. But these voices are not from students
conversing about class; instead they are the voices of telecounselors. Inputting
facts and figures into a computer can be tedious. However, junior Jaime
Alarcon Jr. passes the time by listening to the radio in between conversations
with potential ULV students.
The dinner crowd at the Spot came and went two hours ago. The line is
short with only three people. Sitting at a booth eating a chicken sandwich
and thumbing through a philosophy book is Greg. Greg's nap recharged his
energy level, and at 8:30 p.m. he is wide awake and fully coherent. His
goal is to be done studying "at the latest 11:30 p.m." For now,
he will continue to learn words such as "metaphysics" and "monotheism"-all
necessary truth gulped in between bites of his crispy sandwich.
Besides the Spot, the only other place with the most activity is Wilson
Library. At first glance, it looks to be too quiet even for a library. There
is only one student on the reference terminal. Unwinding from a busy and
tiring day of school, freshman Christie Smith types in the key words "San
"I'm planning a vacation for December to go backpacking,"
says a yawning Smith.
In the background, Kyprian walks to the computer lab. Six students are
utilizing the computers for various reasons. Some have procrastinated long
enough that they are squeezing every last second out of the minutes; others
are getting a head start, while Kyprian checks his e-mail. He eagerly answers
the three messages from friends back home in Buffalo.
At 9 p.m., an exhausted Kyprian reassesses his day. He has done his
accounting homework, he ate dinner, and he has studied. But there is still
one thing he and the majority of ULV students have left to do- sleep.
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