Thanks to my eperience with Spring Break from Hell, I can't stand any type of strobes. Not even those used at parties or dances. Just triggers the preconditioned headache.
This happened in my second year at an university when I made the ill-fated decision to stay there over the spring break. I didn't budget carefully and when I made my decision, I had just $10 in my account.
After I blew my $10 on 10 days' worth of bread and soup, I returned to my dorm room and found a note stuck on the door. It read, "We will be testing the fire alarms over the next three days for testing and maintenance."
I thought nothing of that - I had gone through the nights when someone thought it was funny to pull a fire alarm at 3 am. I had no idea what was in store for me in sheer terms of misery.
First day, the fire alarms went off with the strobe lights flashing. I went to a friend's room and we thought it was enough to put a cup over the strobe. The flashing seemed to get brighter and brighter, to the point where it was annoying us. I got a plastic bag and stuffed it into the cup before putting it back on the strobe. Ah...but the victory was short-lived. The strobe light was determined to shine through 2 inches of plastic and it did.
It stopped after three hours. I had an headache. We thought it would be about the same length of time used to test the strobes for the next day. We were ready for the light. We got three cups stacked on top of each other with paper lining the inside, the bottom cup was stuffed extra-full of plastic bags, and the shield was taped tightly over the light to prevent any light escaping. The test commenced and we almost couldn't see the light at all. Suh-weet!
We started to notice the flashing from the stobe. The flashes were getting stronger and stronger...I checked the clock and saw it had been 3 hours already and it was still flashing. My headache was back. And flashing. 4 hours. And flashing. Headache was so strong that my eyes were hurting. AND flashing. AND FLASHING. AND FLASHING! AND FLASHING!!!!!!!!
We fled the dormitory for the mall. It was actually weird to see all floors of the dormitory flashing in random sequences as if there were gunfights all over. When the madness finally stopped an hour later, we returned to his room and we were shocked to discover that the bags in the shield had melted a bit from the heat of constant flashing.
Because of the heat and the intensity of the strobe, we decided to not cover the strobe up at all and we would leave the dorm before the testing started again on third day. It took them 9 hours to finish and I was thoroughly familar with the mall. Having lived on bread and soup for 10 days, the cafeteria food had never tasted better than the day after spring break ended.
A letter to my family and friends
3 days ago