November 11, 2012

Power Outage Madness

I am still trying to figure out where my life is going. I had an informational meeting with Teach for America and I partially fell in love. The program places recent college graduates as teachers in under-resourced urban and rural public schools.

Now as I said, I love my job and I’d love to work with students; however, I don’t know if I would be able to teach an English class. I feel as though I am more of an after-school programmer. The recruiter assured me we’d be trained and his friend was in a similar boat to me. This job would be a two-year commitment in which I could facilitate change in so many lives.

The only thing is that my audition notifications for theatres, URTA and Straw Hat come around the same time. I want to have all my options on the table before I make a definite decision. Still, it would be a great opportunity. I decided that I would apply to the later application date so that if I do get the job all my notifications will come around the same time.

Just when I am contemplating life, Hurricane Sandy strikes.

No power, no heat, no food, no classes, no show and the no’s just continue. So as most of you know, Lafayette College was amongst many who lost power last week. Oh my lanta, it seemed like the week would never end.

Before the power outage, I was laying on my bed chatting to my mom. The sky was dark and the wind was whipping.  All I could think about at the time was, what I was going to do about all of my frozen food. Now this train of thought came to me because when I went home for fall break my refrigerator died. So as I walked into my house at midnight and took a deep breath, thinking to myself home sweet home, I choked on the disgusting air.  All the food went bad and the worst part of it was that it was the seafood and ice cream. I never thought chocolate ice cream could smell so horrific. I had to call my mom, who was in London at the time, to let her know and she called my neighbor. So we spent the wee hours of the morning cleaning out the fridge. The memory still makes me want to vomit. Thus, I didn’t want the same thing to happen again. Once the power went out I headed straight for Wawa to get ice. I packed the fridge with it.

After napping and trying to study for my exam, I texted my friends to see if they wanted to play monopoly or some game to pass the time. The wind literately propelled me there. Once I arrived, we invited so many people and had a good game of Apples to Apples going. However, soon enough I was getting hungry and the darkness was falling upon us. We could barely see in his room and our flashlight and candle were proving to be useless. So in the darkness I walked over to the off campus pizzeria.  There I was able to eat, charge my phone and update my mom.

Brandi Porter '13 with friends on Halloween

My next plan was to make it to the DG sorority house to be with some of my friends, but the storm hit before. Luckily, I was able to take refuge in my bestie Chelsea Brill and my love/dance-buddy, Jess London’s off campus apartment that was basically next to the pizzeria.

Along with some other friends, we sat around chatting watching debris fly by the window. As worrisome as it was, it was also great because I got to catch up with some of my bestie’s lives. During which, we realized that we haven’t hung out in about a year. I also got to meet new people, which is always fun. So we sat, ate and watched TV. I was able to study for my test a bit, too.

During the storm we learned that a tree had fallen on our friends’ house and a power cord broke and sparked a fire in front of one of the sorority houses. Then four am would hit and we would go back to our dorms to sleep and start the routine again the next day. Now the smart thing would have been to stay the night, but I just had to sleep in my own bed. As I was walking back to my room in the dark I noticed that there was a huge roadblock. A huge tree fell over and I had to find an alternate route to get home. Thank goodness I wasn’t walking home earlier.

With temperatures dropping and the hope for power fading away, I decided to bring over all of my perishables so we could have a feast. I brought over chicken, salmon, shrimp, turkey, peppers, broccoli and bagels. I thought that it was going to go bad anyway so we might as well eat it. Everyone went to their houses and brought food over. I made baked salmon and shrimp for everyone and sautéed the chicken which we soon turned into a chicken pasta. Let’s just say we made it work. We even had ice cream for desert. We were like a little family. It was cute! We even decided that we would celebrate Halloween together!

Speaking of family, the Noise’s off cast were still persevering through the storm. Every day we rehearsed in the daytime, seizing every bit of light that we could. We’d rehearse in Pardee with all the shades open. Unfortunately, even with all of our valiant efforts, the sad news was that no power meant no show.

Every day we’d wait for a text from the college notifying us if school was closed and then we’d wait for a text from the stage manager telling us where and when rehearsal was. Since we weren’t allowed on the stage the stage manager taped out our set in the Williams Art Center. The deal was that each day if we got power back by 6:30pm we’d perform. So we kept showing up for rehearsals and toughing out the power outage.

Then Wednesday hit and the director dropped a bomb on us, saying that the show was canceled because the president of the college informed him that we might not get power back until the next Wednesday. Instantly, everyone in the cast was upset. Two months of hard work would just disappear. In addition, we all stayed on campus in the cold when we could have gone home. Some students wanted to go home to try to help their parents and grandparents since they had no power or gas. Other students’ homes were destroyed. It is heartbreaking to know how this hurricane impacted many lives. Currently, my family in New Jersey is still without power.

posted in Brandi Porter

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