On February 16, the campus of Johnson University Tennessee was shrouded in darkness. A storm of blizzard proportions had descended upon Knoxville. While students living in the residence halls enjoyed a normal Monday night, they had no idea what was about to happen. Suddenly, the lights flickered off, triggering a cacophony of excited squeals from the girls' dorm and a cry of "anarchy!" from the boys' dorm. When the power neglected to come back on, students found themselves deprived of light, Wi-Fi, television, and other forms of entertainment. Manufacturing non-technologically driven forms of entertainment became necessary.
In the girls' dorm, craziness ensued. "As soon as the power went out, our first reaction was— 'blanket fort!'" exclaimed Audrey Bales, a resident of Johnson Hall. Other methods of entertainment revolved around playing games. "I got together with a group of my friends and just laughed and played games for hours! It was such a blast!" declared another resident, Sara Klein. Two freshman halls banded together and played 'Sardines' in the dark and eerie hallways. Other students got creative: "we decided we wanted to play Clue, so we used a file folder and some clothespins and made the game ourselves," remarked Meredith Gerkin.
The boys’ dorm was just as chaotic, as student body President Matt Shears was lifted onto the shoulders of another hall resident amidst the jovial call to "anarchy!" After the elevator bell went off, people were frantically and heroically attempting to free whoever might be stuck in the elevator. An hour later, security opened the doors, revealing that nobody was trapped after all and that the bell simply went off whenever the power malfunctioned. The boys felt heroic nonetheless. Later that evening, many of the guitar-playing lads brought out their instruments and had an impromptu worship session in the dim hallways.
"It was so much fun and probably my favorite memory of this year," confided Audrey Bales about the power outage. Students enjoyed being disconnected from technology, showing their creativity and ability to have fun and bond with each other without the distraction or aid of the internet and cell phones. "We talked until 3a.m.," divulged Barak Fredrickson. While many students scrambled to charge devices, others took the opportunity presented by the power outage to grow closer to each other and to God. "Some of the guys just started playing music and worshipping," imparted Fidy Fieferana. The power outage served as a good reminder to JU students that unplugging every once in a while can be beneficial and enjoyable.
Written by Brooke Boling ('18). Brooke is from Louisville, Kentucky. She is part of the Honors English program at Johnson University Tennessee.