Couch Surfing Instruction Manual
Today’s Scintilla prompt:
Tell a story about something interesting (anything!) that happened to you, but tell it in the form of an instruction manual (Step 1, Step 2, etc.).
Last June, I went to a social media conference in New York. Of course, I waited too long to book a hotel room that I could afford so decided to try couch surfing. This list of instructions details my experience.
1. Google “couch surfing” during fourth period class. Students will think you are working.
2. Discuss site results with student doing remote mentorship; he’s been working for 2 hours on the same project and needs a break. Also, he’s probably not working that hard to begin with.
3. Visit a few of the websites. Determine that airbnb.com is the most professional and offers the most options and security.
4. Spend at least 5 class periods researching places to stay. Discuss these places with your students. Be sure to point out that while they should not talk to or stay with strangers, it’s perfectly ok for their 40 something teacher to go off to New York and stay with a person she met on the internet.
5. Tell your students not to tell their parents about your couch surfing intent.
6. Contact two possible couch surfing locations in the West Village.
7. Check your airbnb account from your phone and your computer every 5 minutes. State adamantly to your students and children that this does not prove you have OCD.
8. When you receive a response from a woman with a room in a walkup apartment on Commerce Street, stalk her online. Discover she’s a producer for Bravo’s What Not to Wear. At first, you are thrilled to think you might meet someone who works for Bravo – maybe they can introduce you to Stefan from Top Chef! Then realize that your wardrobe is everything the hosts on What Not to Wear tell you not to wear.
9. Experience a moment of panic.
10. Correspond with prospective host. Share your less scary attributes. Realize that she too is sharing only her less scary attributes. Discover that you are nearly the same age and both vegan.
11. Book your stay.
12. Freak out the night before you leave.
13. Download HopStop app recommended by your daughter when you realize you have to take the subway for the first time since 1979.
14. Take train into the city from the wilds of New Jersey.
15. Go to your event.
16. After event, walk back to Penn Station.
17. Go into subway station.
18. Realize you have no idea how to buy a Metro Pass. Ask large woman in bullet proof booth how to buy Metro Pass. Obtain Metro Pass.
19. Ask at least 5 people if the train you are waiting for will, in fact, take you to the West Village.
20. Get on subway train. Sit. Stare at the station indicator across the aisle from you without blinking.
21. Get off subway. Leave subway station. Take out your phone and figure out how to get to your couch surfing location.
22. Arrive at couch surfing location. Host will buzz you in.
23. Realize that walking up 5 flights of stairs at your age and weight is not as easy as you thought.
24. Take a breather on floor number 3.
25. Arrive at location. Meet host. Bond immediately.
26. Have dinner on rooftop. Bond some more over vegan wine.
27. Walk around the West Village.
28. Text your students that you are safe (for now).
29. Deal with your son being locked out of the house back in Jersey.
30. Try to sleep on the twin bed. Realize New York City is a lot louder than Jersey.
31. Wake up, shower, go to Purl Soho and buy way more yarn than you should.
32. Go home to Jersey.
33. Tell everyone they should try couch surfing!!