Musical Classrooms

With apologies to my one or two readers who are not students or preceptors at Duke Div:

Does anybody know where the heck 030 Westbrook is? Is it that windowless seminar room that backs up to the refectory kitchen? About how many can you comfortably sit around those tables? Is there enough room to administer tests to about 20 people?

At first, I was afraid that I was going to be stuck in a classroom far too large for my class. After leading small discussion groups for two consecutive semesters in the biggest lecture hall in the school, I was ready for something that was a better fit to the size of my class. Now, one day into the semester, I've been reassigned to a mystery room that I fear may be too small for the number of students I have. (Maybe I need to act like an ogre and scare some of them away before the end of drop/add. More room for the rest of us; less grading for me.)

I confess, I'm hypersensitive about room reassignments after last semester, when I was evicted from my classroom and no one bothered to tell me about it until they interrupted us in the middle of class to kick us out. This communication snafu was nobody's fault, but it did discombobulate me. I'm highly discombobulatable. That event may be why the e-mail today alerting me of the room change came with 16 exclamation marks by my name. ("Make sure we don't forget to tell this girl about the room change again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!") Sixteen exclamation marks, and a confusing subject line. (Why the heck am I getting an email about Old Testament room changes?)

And while I'm on the subject, how is it that Divinity Schools can spend millions of dollars on renovations/expansions and still end up with inadequate classroom space? Granted, Yale's project was an ill-conceived, if well-intentioned, "adaptive reuse" of ancient dormitories into classroom and office space, so it's not too surprising that they ended up with too few decent-sized classrooms and too many itty-bitty seminar closets, given what they had to work with. (Those so-called seminar rooms make excellent spaces for prayer meetings or tutorials, but I sure wouldn't want to teach in one.)

But Duke didn't have the same restraints, and we still seem to have insufficient space for our instructional needs. (How the heck did we ever get along before the new building? Other than by poaching space from the religion dept.?) I guess you don't want to have to raise the money to build more school than you need, but isn't "room to grow" usually a factor in such planning? Do you really want to be spilling out of your new space before you've even finished moving into it? (Unless you're a landlocked church that's constrained by property boundaries on all sides, but that's another matter...)

Okay, enough of my bellyaching. I'm sure the new classroom will be fine. I just need to remember to go put a note on the door of the old classroom, so that my auditor, whose e-mail address I don't have, knows where to go.

Other than that, the first day of class was great. This is going to be fun!

1 comments:

Sarah said...

I think the point is precisely to leave those religion classrooms as empty as possible.

You know, rub salt in the wound.

Heh heh heh.

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