Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Should Have Known It Couldn't Last

Everything with the start of this semester has been so calm and peaceful. No parking hassles; things getting up and running with the minimum of angst.

Until this morning.

I am in a classroom (or is it an office with a bunch of desks jammed into it? 'Tis hard to know), with each of my full to enrollment cap classes. When I say the room is small, I mean the students on the far wall of the classroom cannot get into the desks without moving them into the aisle putting themselves touching the wall, and then moving the desk back underneath them. This room includes an overhead projector, a VCR (no DVD), and a tiny television. The room is so small that I could not drag the "smart cart" with equipment over to do what I need to do even if I wanted to. It seriously wouldn't fit unless we kicked some students out.

I am trying to get the room changed - the first time I've EVER asked for that accommodation - but the secretary seemed less than enthusiastic about fixing this plight.

My stomach is totally in knots. I literally cannot run the second class - where no one ever drops - in this room. Like CANNOT DO THE THINGS ON THE SYLLABUS. But what if they cannot move me? Like, anywhere? What will I do????

The other class... well, it's not ideal, but with 5-6 drops it would be do-able.

But the one where nobody ever drops?

I feel like I'm going to be sick.


Geeka said...

Tell your students that a required number of them cannot attend to accommodate the equipment. Enough of them will complain to get the room changed, especially if it is a req class.

I was once in a lab, that the registrar saw fit to not put in a lab room.

helenesch said...

Ugh--that sounds terrible (sorry, I don't mean to make you feel worse!). I've had my secretary change my room numerous times--I'd say at least once a year, on average(and I teach only 4 courses/yr). If your secretary can't or won't do it, I'd say something to your chair--this truly sounds unacceptable.

Miriam said...

Yeesh, I'm sorry. At the very least, even if there's no open room left, your dept. sec should be able to find somebody to swap with you (which is how I got out of the room where I couldn't see over the podium...!).

James said...

I'm trying to move one of my classes too, but the combination of campus being so full and the fact that we have multiple reservation systems for rooms, all of which are overly complicated, makes it difficult or impossible. I had the room reserved I wanted in one system, but apparently another department had it reserved in another, so we're trying to figure out what to do before the first class tomorrow.

Tree of Knowledge said...

Cite the fire code.

I had students sitting on the floor one semester. My chair asked for the room change for me, and she cc'd the dean to make sure it never happened again. I mean, how hard is it to look and see how many people are legally allowed to be in a room and compare that to the enrollment, or at least the cap, for the course?

Anonymous said...

you can have some of the extra space from my classroom, if you want. I've got so much room, I feel like I'm speaking into a cavern. from a raised podium, no less.

Bridgett said...

Are you sure you aren't my colleague? Last semester, my "classroom" was a room so small that if everyone showed up, there was no room for me. Students had to pile coats and backpacks at the security station because there was no room for any other stuff.

We hear every year how enrollments are softening, tuition-driven salary increases in jeopardy, blahdeeblah, and yet every year, my classes have people sitting in the rafters balancing their notebooks on their knees. Just lucky, I guess.