One of the more interesting facets of dorm life in the IMOP building is the “dezhurnaya:” essentially a babushka who serves as your RA. Actually, there are multiple dezhurnayas, and they take shifts each day/night (there are about four of them I’ve seen so far on our floor). Their responsibilities include: enforcing the “quiet hours” (11pm-6 or 7am), making sure students close the common room door so as not to let the draft in from the stairwell, watching soap operas, notifying students if they have mail/packages/a phone call, and looking disgruntled. See this article to get a feel for the opinions of your typical dezhurnaya.
One dezhurnaya in particular likes to lecture us in order to drive home the necessity of seeing to the errors of our ways. These lectures may last anywhere from five to ten minutes depending on the severity of your infraction (noise, running in the hall, drunken revelry, excessive giggling), and any attempt at formulating a response generates an additional minute or two. The problem for most AIFS students, however, is that she does so in Russian. Very rapid Russian. I usually manage to avoid her attention, but any conversations that have occurred between us thus far usually go something like this:
Prospective dorm residents, your best bet is to follow Ginger’s example: stare attentively, yet vacantly. Eventually even the most wrathful dezhurnaya will exhaust herself in the face of your brick wall of incomprehension.