Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington under nine presidents and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review is an online journal and archive of alternative news. It has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 13, 2009


Cuff, Countersignature - New semester. I'm teaching in a basement classroom that must have been a storage room at some point. Low ceilings, floors with lumps beneath the carpet (seriously, it's as if they simply rolled some carpet out over a bare dirt floor and said done with it -- I nearly tripped waltzing around the classroom), and some bizarre paneling like it was someone's mid-70's basement rec room redo.

However, the absolute best thing about the room is that when I stand at the podium with built in computer console, my ass hits the blackboard. My back is quite literally against the wall in this class. So I need to watch my use of chalk, lest I end up powdering all my clothes. Additionally, the podium is placed so that, unless I contort my body and lean further into my little corner, I'm blocking about a fifth of the screen when I use the LCD projector.

I suppose I shouldn't complain, since I do have a computer and LCD projector, but I have almost no room to roam at the front of the classroom, and I like to roam. I like to move from side to side in front of the rows. In this class, I have about ten feet to move across. That's three, four paces, then I'm up against either my immobile podium or the extra student desk they crammed into the front of the room.

Does anyone take classroom design into account when they're counting on how many tuition paying students they can cram into a space?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, they took it into account just far enough to determine how many tuition-paying students they could cram into that space.

January 13, 2009 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

couldn't help but notice our teacher friend neglected to make any mention of his generous pension and time off in the above whine. how very odd.

seriously, dude: if it's that barbaric and backwards where you teach, just quit. go get a REAL job, one that doesn't involve slavish obeisance to political dogma.

no? "just wanted to complain, would never quit"? thought so.

January 13, 2009 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that No Child Left Behind blows chunks, but I was never aware that teachers' personal aesthetic preferences really entered into it.

January 14, 2009 12:38 PM  

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