My NCA Has Radon, Now I Have Powers

In case you missed the most pertinent housing drama of the 2023 semester, or if you’re sick of New Apt mold jokes– here’s this

After coming out of this chemical exposure relatively unscatched, I am here– on the only platform that will have me– to tell my tale. I say relatively because, well, I may be on track to graduate this spring, but I didn’t expect to walk that stage sporting a third eye like Blinky from The Simpsons (pictured above). A symbolic third eye that sprouted from all of my academic and social lessons garnered, sure. But not literally.

Once upon a time, NCA owners were envied the entire campus. Now, what was objectively the most desirable Kenyon apartment option has severely humbled the lucky bastards of the housing lottery. Excluding that one kid who’s mom paid off reslife to get him a Farr. Allegedly.

According to the EPA (which I just found out is a real organization and not something they just made up for The Simpsons Movie) radon levels become potentially harmful when they reach above 4pc/il. I don’t know what a pc/il is, but my house has 78 of them.

Now joining my Google search history atop “college student too anxious to eat in the dining hall,” “Kenyon College meal plan recruitments,” and “How to format a screenplay” is “radon exposure effects.” I doom-scrolled until the cows came home (figure of speech. If any real cows came to my door, I’d warn cow poison control). I determined that A. I had lung cancer right immediately now or B. I would be fine as long as I didn’t fail my comps 20 times and end up having 19 extra senior years. Long term exposure is the real kicker. And if I stayed in Gambier for one more day after May 20 2023 I have other concerns for my livelihood than radon. Anyway. There was actually a secret third option.

C. I have acquired powers. I wouldn’t call them superpowers, because superpowers are useful. These are simple abilities, but they don’t service my community at large. This may seem unlikely, so stay with me while I explain.

  1. I can tell exactly when a professor is about to say “I digress.” Sometimes, I play around with this one and make dead eye contact with them, mouthing the phrase while its on their mind but not yet on their lips. My participation grades should be solid this semester.
  2. I can move my butt cheeks individually My aunt’s Zumba instructor told her that some people can do this and then she told me. I didn’t believe her at the time, but now I am one of those people.
  3. I can see your aura Seriously.
  4. I can come in first on Mariokart against the CPU Listen, I am so used to the Kart on the Switch now. Until recently, I hadn’t played Wii in years, which is why I can’t beat my housemates (who also hadn’t played Wii in years). I can beat the CPU now though. Thanks, radon!
  5. I can write a firm but polite email to the Office of Reslife “I came to Kenyon for the small-community feel and support I was told I’d get from the students and staff. I hope you reply and we can get back to this open communication that reminds me what it’s like to be part of this family. Go owls.”

So, yeah. There’s one more thing I can do, but I’m not allowed to tell you all that yet. You’ll see when the time is right, but you might as well thank me now. And thank radon. And thank the mitigation process too, as my powers come with a lot of societal responsibility. I am almost as uncomfortable with them as I am with this, like, whole chemical exposure deal. Come back next week for more from the Kenyon Krisis Korner. I’ve been your host, Katie Couric. No, sorry, I haven’t. I can’t lie anymore either, dammit. Jot that one down too.

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