Guest Blogger: Tom Mascia

Save your quarters kids. Stay on your feet. That special time has rolled around here at the colleges. It is time once again to face the washers and dryers at HWS.

Personally, I would much rather save my quarters for those ever enticing bubblegum machines that act as a kind of slide where you get excited watching the blue ball roll down the winding lane and deposit safely into your hand to be devoured. Just to have it taste remotely stale and you begin to wonder how long is has been encased in the machine (probably a good half a year) but I digress, I have laundry to do anyway.

Cutting to the proverbial chase, the laundry here is pretty brutal. I will begin with a description on what are called the washers. The washers here, or at least the ones I have encountered, always seem to sprout a significant leak that eventually finds it’s way to the hallway so it ends up looking like you live next to Alex Mac (90’s Nickelodeon reference YEA!).

Not to mention, I still have no clue what the right combination is for hot and cold or cold and cold or hot and hot, but I guess that is my own fault.

Drying clothes at this school seems to be like attempting to out run the Mangler (really wanted to make a reference to Stephen King’s clothing machine theme horror story and I did, point to Gryffindor!)

it doesn’t work. We all know the dryers work effectively under minimal circumstances and that no matter how many quarters are put in, even increasing the drying time to 70 min will not help, you will be met with damp clothes when you open that door. There is no getting around it. NEVER, I repeat NEVER, think it is a smart idea to press that Perm Press button; your clothes will be as wet as Charizard after Blastoise hits him with hydrobeam (80 percent accuracy!). In the end, I usually let my clothes air and hope my clothes do not end up looking like a prune.

What seems to bother me the most about this situation is that it costs 1.25 per load to have a poor quality machine do something Amish people have been doing significantly better and quicker for ages. To this fact I propose something to the colleges administrations, perhaps find out statistically how much students, on average, pay for laundry and add to tuition or allow students to swipe their ID’s and charge it directly to a student account. These are simply thoughts and I would be very grateful if the colleges looked into this issue.

It does help however if you’re stuck in the laundry room with an unknown acquaintance at which time, it is fair game to say ”Hey man or lady, these things suck, they never dry my shit and the water makes me smell like a dog”. To which they will reply “ Yea I know, there always broken and really expensive. I just had to leap over a puddle to get back to my room safely. I’m glad we bonded over this common misfortune, you’re just like me!” Now HWS I can understand if by allowing the deprecating quality of overpriced clothing appliances to create student friendship I applaud you for such innovative thinking, but if not all were asking is for the shit to work. If anyone wishes to vent their frustration on the laundry situation here at the colleges do not hesitate to seek me out. I will be the kid that looks like he just stepped out of a local water park where the kids all keep their clothes on.

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12 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Tom Mascia

  1. yosh karbowniczak says:

    DOing laundry at this school is a harder task than completing a 12 page paper. As the weeks go on, and the size of my dirty laundry pile grows, I become more and more intimidated with the project. I live in Bartlett, a dorm that on the second floor has 3 availible washers and dryers. I promise you whenever i some how gather up the enegry to do my laundry, and i drag my cloths sack over my shoulder like Santa all the way down to the second floor, everyone in the building is doing laundry. Sometimes i leave my cloths in there and come back in an half a hour to see if there is any availible, and return only to find my cloths scattered about the room. Becaus of this, i find my self leaping over a pile of cloths in my room just as much as that pile of water in the laundry room.
    Quarters Quarter quarters….. I absolutely hate when my roomates find my stash of quarters. Ill get a 10 dollar roll do one load and some how my roomates end up with the rest! No matter where i hide them! This was a situation I was put into last Sunday. I did my one load and then my roomates sniffed out my secret stash and had thier way with it. Yes, I was mad but i tried to remain cool. Headed over to the book store to pick up another roll when the woman at the front desk says to me “I’m sorry, we do not have quarters on Mondays.” Maybe its just bad luck, or maybe i am just not meant to be doing laundry. All I’m saying is that dont you miss the days where Mommy and Daddy took care of this?
    Whenever this conversation comes up at home my friends always tell me how good thier washers and dryers work at thier school, and there free! My friend that is a freshman goes to Roberts- Wesyln and right on her floor is a washer and dryer. Remember how i said i sometimes leave my laundry in the room and it ends up on the floor? Well i was talking to her and she said how one time she left her things in the washer and someone on her floor ended up drying it and even folded it afterwards. That will be the day, when i walk into the bartlett laundry room and all my cloths are folded.

  2. Sean says:

    Haha this is completely true… Since I moved back in here at Hobart I’ve done laundry once. But i have my reasons- I have to walk up and down three flights of stairs because the elevator in Emerson is always broken or it takes 15 minutes to go up or down one floor, the town shuts off our water on random days so not only can we not do laundry, we can’t even shower on those days either, and most recently, the town did what they call a “town flush” or something like that? I know i could pretty much blame myself for only doing my laundry once and still having my hamper lodged in the corner of my room with clothes overflowing, but come on. I feel like everytime i wanna do some laundry there is always something wrong in this building. Ohh and how could i forget about quarters? It cost $1.25 per load. Like cmon really? I did two loads of laundry and had to spend my last 5 bucks my mom gave me for college (what a shitty way to spend it).

  3. stfeldman says:

    Wow. What a perfect article. I have been an HWS student for less than four weeks, and already one of the most dreaded tasks has been doing laundry. Ok I will admit it. I have been lucky enough to not have to do my own laundry at home. So doing laundry at school was a daunting task. After 4 loads of unsuccessful drying, I blamed myself for being a ‘Rookie’ and not knowing how to do it on my own. Five dollars later, my roommate kindly reminded me that it might in fact be the dryer that was broken, and I wasn’t as inept as I thought. Secondly, I live in Hirshson. Girls have A LOT of clothes. Pack almost 100 of them into one dorm? With 3 washers and dryers? Not a successful combination. It is a total guessing game when there will be washers and dryers available. And if there’s a free washer, will you be lucky enough to get an open dryer 35 minutes later? Fingers crossed. And don’t get me started on the quarters. Tom, you bring up an excellent point by suggesting we add laundry money to our student account. I highly considered joining the William Smith student government just to make a petition to get quarter machines throughout campus. If by chance anyone from Congress is reading this, please consider it!

  4. maddiecarens says:

    What a brilliant blog post you have here Tom! Let’s take this discussion to ResEd, The president, or someone who will do something about this annoying, bothersome, and tedious experience of doing laundry here at HWS.
    Living on the newly remodeled “garden view” level of Hirshson, I have the luck of being right across from the dreaded laundry room. It was not long after (maybe 5 minutes) that the Pre Orientation Adventure Program returned to campus that I knew my existing quiet floor would turn into a zoo whenever laundry was being done. In the one month that I have been at school I have experienced everything when it comes to laundry; people yelling at the machines, yelling at each other for taking the dryer they were just using, and of course nagging on the phone to ResEd because the machine ate their quarters.
    Then it came my turn to do laundry for the first time. I made the mistake of filling the washing machine too full with clothes. When I took my clothes out they were a combination of soaking wet and completely dry. I spent an additional $1.25 to redo the wash and it then came to the drying process, and this certainly was a process. Of course the one tip I got from my parents for doing laundry was, “make sure you dry on low heat so everything doesn’t shrink.” I followed that advice and was unpleasantly surprised that after 50 minutes on low heat I had wasted $1.25 with no progress on the drying front. $5 later and having my white tops turn a gray/blue color, my first load of laundry was done.
    Laundry at HWS is such a nightmare when it really shouldn’t be. Tom you are so right, $5 (in quarters) to do one load of laundry is the last thing I want to spend my money on. I am ready to protest a change here!

  5. xoklc says:

    I love this article. The short amount of time being at HWS i’ve not only heard horrible stories, but also had horrible experiences of my own with the simple task of laundry. being a Geneva native, i have the opportunity to bring my laundry home to be washed. (one of the million wonderful perks of being close to home.) unfortunately, i cant say the same thing for my roommate.. the past few weeks i’ve offered to help her with her laundry and our experiences have not been too pleasant. the laundry room in JPR seems to have either a broken dryer or washer every time we decide to do the laundry. this weekend was our worst experience by far. it started off with us being 3rd in line to use a washer. with this being said, we knew our luck in the laundry room wasn’t going to be.. finally after waiting two and a half hours, it was our turn to use a washer. at this point, we were irritated and decided to wash both the whites and dark’s together instead of waiting for a second washer to be open. what a bad decision.. my roommate had a pink shirt that had not been washed before and it bleed all over her white clothes.. whoops. once realizing this, we put the darks in the dryer, and re washed the whites. one hour later, the timer goes off for the dryer but the clothes are not dry.. so with this being said, the clothes went back in the dryer for round two. thankfully it only took two attempts for the clothes to be dried. i just dont understand why such a simple task had to be turned into such a complicated one.

  6. Matt Riggi says:

    To be honest I haven’t really crossed any of these problems yet. I don’t know where you lived when you were a first year, but I live in Sherrill and the washers and dryers here are actually pretty clean. I think the grossest part about these dryers is we have to clean out the filter with other people’s lint and stuff in there. If I could change one thing it would be that people should clean up their own filters. Another thing that sucks about these washers and dryers is that it costs two fifty a load. That seems a little expensive for me for how small the washers are. I can’t even fit one full load into the washer. I have spend an extra two fifty in order to clean all my cloths. It is kind of a bummer. Everyone is talking about how much they hate doing the laundry here but I actually kind of like it. I always get some kids to go do it with and while the cloths are washing or drying we always play a little bit of x-box or on Sunday we’ll do our laundry then go watch some football. We always turn it into an event and it always makes it much more fun. I will be honest with everyone though. The first couple times I did my laundry I had to give my mom a call to make sure I was doing it right. I wasn’t sure if I had to separate the white’s from everything else or how much cloths to put in. but now I get it and I kind of like it, exept the folding part, I might pat y someone to do it.

  7. eurogate says:

    What the hell does Perm Press even mean hahah!

  8. Ashley says:

    Can we also address the evils of the DEVIL-SPAWNED ASSHOLES who take your clothes out of the dryer the SECOND it beeps, even when they are CLEARLY still dripping liquid, pile your delicates on top of the filthy machine (necessitating another wash, because thanks, I’ll take my infectious diseases the fun way, not from the dirty dryer touching my undies), and put their own clothes in?

    the number of times when living in JPR or Hirshson that I came down to the depths of the basement/first floor and found that SOMEONE ELSE had manhandled my personals, which were clearly not even close to the “dry” stage (taking them out of the washer is even more reprehensible) and dumped them on top of a machine for their own use, are countless. Even more fun was when there wasn’t a dryer immediately available! So I was stuck with a full load of WET laundry, sitting on a filthy machine. Those were my favorite days.

    All I can say is: get into a theme house. Less people to wrestle with, and you can usually nail down the culprits pretty fast. Lay bear traps around the dryer when your goods are in there and listen for howls of pain. Or,f or positive reinforcement, try what I did: put your stuff in the wash, and then bake a tray of cookies. They’ll be so distracted by the delectable smells wafting out of the kitchen, nobody will even THINK of heading for the laundry room.

    But for practical dorm purposes, what I decided to finally do for my 2 hellacious dorm years was to just do laundry at the oddest possible times. Thursday 3 PM? You betcha. Saturday nights, those were good too. I’d even get up Monday at 8:30 if I did’t have class til 11 and start the ugly ugly process…just because no one else would be there.

    And a tip on the dryers: Don’t wait until your time totally runs out. If you stick another quarter in while it’s still running, you get 10 more minutes added on for only 25 cents. But if you let it run out all the way, you have to put in another whole $1.25; you can’t add on in increments.

    Also, my high school teacher who went here in the ’90s said they had a way of tricking the machines into thinking they were getting quarters when they were really getting nickels…something involving pantyhose…I never figured it out. But it’s another thought.

  9. Tacco26 says:

    I hate doing laundry at this school. It is extremely time consuming and expensive. When I lived in JPR it was nice that there were six washers and six dryers. The problem was that on an average day three of the washers worked and only one of the dryers. It was pure luck if you selected the dryer that was actually working that day. If not you had to wait 50 min to find out that the dryer you went with was broken yet still took your money. Then you had to choose another dryer in hopes that it would work. Now out $1.25 and another 50 minute of your time. I would always try and go at really bizarre times like on a Saturday night while all my friends would be getting ready to go out I would sneak down the laundry room to throw a load in. Then in another 34 min sneak down to put them in the dryer. God forbid you are a minute late and someone can’t wait and takes your clean wet clothing out and puts it on the floor. I always had random conversations with those who shared my frustration with the machines in the laundry room as well. They probably thought I was a very mean and angry person because I was always complaining and cursing at the washers.
    I never have quarters so if we could just swipe our ID’s that would be amazing! When my friends at other school talk about their laundry rooms I am always so jealous. They just simply swipe their ID and boom the machine is on and ready to go. They also had a camera streaming live in the laundry room that they could access from their computer so they could see if their laundry is done. I even had one friend who got a text from the school when her laundry was finished. That would be great then I wouldn’t go to the laundry room to find all my clothing on the ground in a wet puddle. It is as if our laundry system is from the Stone Age, come on HWS lets get this fixed.

  10. Sasha Borenstein says:

    Laundry is the ABSOLUTE worst task there is to do. I usually wait until the very last minute to do my laundry. Not only is it insanely expensive to do but it is also extremely time consuming. I have been fortunate because until last year I had never done laundry before. Without fail last year every time I would go to do my laundry I would call my mom because I didn’t know what all the different options meant. Of course before I left for school I was taught how to do it but let’s be honest the machines we use at home and the machines we have here are night and day. Not only did I not know what I was doing, I also hated the fact that people took out other peoples clothes. I did not want other people touching my clothes and moving them to wherever they pleased, so I would either keep track of the time and be there right as the timer went off or I would bring down some homework and put on my beats headphones and sit on top of whatever machine I was using. The other thing that I still do not understand is how people can forget to come get their laundry. So as much as I hated the idea of other people touching my clothes, I had not sympathy for people who leave their laundry in the machine for hours after the timer goes off.

    I am lucky though. Being on the basketball team gets me another option of cleaning my clothes. Each person on my team is given a clip, and every day after practice we put our practice gear on the clip to be washed. No one said that we could not put other clothes on the clip to be washed as well, so we all pack our clips with sweats and t-shirts and whatever else can fit and throw it into the bin to get washed. The next day when you walk into the locker room your clothes are hanging in your locker clean. It is wonderful. This also means that I live in sweat pants and t-shirts because I can wash them for free.

    I agree with everyone who has commented already about trying to fix the issue that we face while trying to do our laundry. Most other schools have free laundry so why don’t we? I think that we should definitely make it known to RESED about the awful machines that we have to use that do not even clean our clothes that well. We spend so much money in order to do our laundry and the machines do not even do a good job. Something needs to be done about the way laundry gets done here because the system we have now is not acceptable at all. Doing our laundry should not be so time consuming and expensive.

  11. Liz Douglass says:

    I think this blog speaks to just about every student at this school. Every aspect of doing laundry at HWS is unaccomodating. First of all, $1.25 a load is pretty expensive, especially when most kids save up their laundry until the last minute. This usually leads to paying $5.00 in quarters for every load that you end up doing (including washing and drying). Paying in quarters is the worst part. Most of us don’t carry around that many quarters at a time; forcing us to walk all the way to the school store just to exchange our money. I think there is a simple and obvious solution to this; allowing us to swipe our ID cards and charge laundry to our accounts. Most colleges do this these days, and I think it’s about time HWS hops on the bandwagon.
    In regards to learning how to do laundry properly; that is also an issue for me. But there is nothing the school can do to help us with that. Teaching us to do laundry was our parents’ job. My dad’s advice; just put everything together, wash it on cold, and then dry it on medium. This often leaves me with white clothes turned blue, and sometimes shrunken sweaters, but for the majority of the time, it works. Luckily, as a college athlete, most of my clothes can be washed for free at the gym, saving me a lot of time, money, and ruined clothing.

  12. Sep 18- Tom Mascia

    You bring up a very solid point here. I am always flabbergasted that we have to pay money to do laundry here at Hobart and William Smith. I know of some colleges where you do not even have to pay yet alone deal with leaks. I think that the student body should stand up and raise awareness of this issue to help better HWS for the upcoming years. It is very frustrating when after having to wait for machines to open, the washer’s leak or the dryer don’t do anything. Not only is putting your clothes in the dryer a second time around time consuming, but it is wasting HWS’s energy and electricity. I think new washer and dryers would be beneficial to everyone here and I see it, as it should be high on the list of things to change.

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