Scary Carl + Grades

15 Jun

We huddled together in my dark closet, apprehensive to make noise, and worried he would return and do something worse. My roommate dialed 9-1-1 on her cellular phone and told the operator in a wavering tone of voice that our landlord had assailed us by kicking in the front door during a fit of rage. The operator got the address to our secluded my missouribasement apartment and assured us she would send help.

This was just the latest in a series of escalating acts of harassment since 2004 had begun. Preceding this, I heard a sound in the living room and walked out of the bedroom to see my erratic landlord had used his keys to let himself inside without prior notice, or even a knock. I still have no idea what he was planning to do that day, and I began to use my chain lock regularly because I did not want to find out.

A few long moments after our frantic emergency call, the police arrived. They were so Sarah, me, Eileen 2005astounded by the profound damage to the door and the frame that they took pictures. Though the landlord owned the property he had destroyed, he severed the chain lock, which had violated our reasonable expectation of privacy. While the police were collecting the evidence and writing their reports, the landlord came back to the house to “fix the door.” The police arrested him, but a few hours after his release from jail that same day, our implacable landlord antagonized us by shouting through the living room window. It was at that point my roommate went to stay with her boyfriend.

I had nowhere else to go with more than a month left on my lease, and fall finals were commencing in one week. I was fretful the arrest had inflamed our fractious landlord even more and he would come in while I was showering or sleeping and do terrible things. I locked the screen door and the front door; not that it mattered, as he had keys to both. Then I took further precaution by barricading myself inside using the futon. After one sleepless night, I went to get a restraining order against my landlord. I was granted an ex parte that kept him from setting foot on the property but still, I was overwrought. I figured a piece of paper would do little to stop my volatile landlord from terrorizing me.

MizzouThis atmosphere of paranoia and chaos was not conducive to studying. At the time, aside from being enervated from fear, I did not realize I had any recourse. I assumed since the University of Missouri was closing for winter break, there was no possibility of taking my finals later. I felt I had no choice but to muddle through my exams and hope for the best. In my restive state, I bombed every test I attempted, probably dropping my grade about a full letter in each class.

If something extraordinarily aberrant like that happened these days I would inform my professors in The Quad 2an attempt to get accommodation on my final exams. Alerting the university of my predicament would be my next step, as I vowed never again to be reticent with my school when I am in crises. I regret that my grades suffered during that trying time, but this disturbing incident taught me the life lesson of not taking my safety for granted and how to utilize the police, the courts, and the university system in place to help people with such dilemmas. In combination with my more formal lessons imparted from academia, this upsetting episode helped shape me into the strong, resilient person that I am today.

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