I know that I am in the general area of my classrooms. They are right there in front of me. I say “they” because I have one for my 1-250 class and another for my 3-450 class. As you can see these classes are back to back with a ten minute break between them. One might think that it would make sense to assign me the same room for the whole period and not give me two different rooms. But the university does not know how to make sense of anything.
Instead of one room, I have 2 rooms and they are RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO EACH OTHER. For God’s sake. And neither of these rooms has a data projector. So in the ten minutes between the classes, I must urinate, smoke a cigarette, unplug all the stuff I have had to plug in for my data projector to work. Put all the stuff on the damn cart, and PUSH IT RIGHT NEXT DOOR (for god’s sake) where I have then to plug all that crap back in again to various sockets and outlets.
Just standing there looking at the two rooms—and I am pretty sure I am looking at the two rooms; I just don’t know which one I has my first class—I get pissed off all over again. A person, clearly a student, comes and stands next to me. I assume he is in my class since he seems to be standing there aimlessly. I say, “I don’t know which room it is.” “Oh,” he says. Then he spies a woman going in one of the doors and says he thinks she is in the class. So we go in that door.
Sure enough it appears to be my class. A room full of annoying sophomores. Moreover, not a seat is empty. They are all mashed in there like sardines. About 10 years ago I walked into one of the classrooms in this building on the very first day it was opened for use. I almost exploded. This is supposed to be a university and part of the purpose although apparently a very insignificant part is to educate.
I walk into a place where such education is supposed to occur and find myself in a tiny box. I have 25 students but there are 35 seats in the room. The teacher’s table at the front of the room actually touches the desks in the front row. Between the desk and the blackboard, I find about 2 feet of space into which I squeeze myself. If I speak too vigorously, I am likely to spit on students who sit in the front row.
I have to restrain my fury. Brand spanking new classrooms with no data projectors built into them and so crammed with seats that I can scarcely move. The students can’t move either. And this is very troubling since I frequently break them into groups to discuss readings with each other. Such groups will be impossible in this room because THERE IS NO ROOM TO MOVE.
I am about to have a hernia. Millions of dollars have been spent building this building mostly for offices for professors and nobody bothered to speak to a teacher about how the classrooms should be set up. I am freaking dumbfounded. Not just by the stupidity of it, but by the clear and present indifference of the powers that be—whoever they might be—to the so-called educational mission of the university.
Then I think. What the FUCK if we have an EARTHQUAKE?