RoomHop: Decked with Hexes
Written by Bwog Staff
“The lamps that the rooms come with are kinda gross,” Jonathon Balsano, SEAS ’14, matter-of-factly states. Fellow McBain double dweller Sam Engel, CC ‘ 14, jumps in, “That nasty light didn’t really reach the corner of the room.”
Made of cardboard and tracing paper, the retrofitted overhead fixture cast a patterned shimmer over the room. Being perfectionists, they didn’t break the cardboard when cutting out the hexagons for the lamp–leaving the four by five sheet of hexagon outlines as wall decor.
Why hexagons? Jon explains, “They always seemed to work well for soccer balls, but apparently not so for curved surfaces.”
Jon, a computer science major in SEAS, and Sam, a CC kid who’s into “either chem or p-chem,” live in a space defined by rectilinear perfection. On the wall to the left of the hexagonal cut-outs is their five by six foot whiteboard. Jon explains, “It’s from Home Depot. The panel board, like fifteen bucks probably.”
Sam adds, “We ran to the Bronx, got a giant sheet of it. They had to cut it in half so we could take it back on the subway. That was a ride.” Now they and their friends use it for math problems, to outline essays, and as a repository for memes and obscenities.
“We held it up there with Velcro,” says John. “Industrial-strength Velcro,” Sam is quick to add.
As another example of their innovative spirit, the pair figured out how to link their speakers together. “So one of us can play something and have it sound from both sides,” explains Sam.
Jon explains, “We had a wire and we thought we had the wrong number of inputs to outputs. It was confusing, but we realized that splitters are just one giant conductor, so it doesn’t matter which direction you plug it.”
If they play different things? “Then mine overpowers,” says Sam. They both laugh.
Judging by the tidiness of the bed, the room seemed immaculately clean. Sam assured me it was not just for the ‘hop; they make their beds daily. Guests must leave their shoes by the door, where there’s a welcome mat.
Yet all the perfection isn’t unwelcoming, and their room is far from stuffy. Quite the opposite–the eccentricity of their decor reflects the rooms use as a place of creativity and excitement. All the walls are covered except for one, which they are saving for a future project. The two are considering a rasturbated image, but tell me that they want color.
Jon and Sam keep the door open all the time. They have even jimmied the return on the door so it doesn’t close on its own accord. Friends often walk by to stop-and-chat, sometimes staying for a while on the couch.
“[A friend] cut out lots of front pages of The Eye, which was a baby at the time, and posted it up while I was out. So I had a lot of babies over my bed. I took those down,” chuckles Sam