Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday Morons

I was debating whether or not I wanted to blog about my husband. But then I remembered that it was Monday, and that I had started this whole Monday Moron thing. So maybe I'm not ready to actually call my husband a moron on the blog yet. But last night he actually said that he thought that things were better. How messed up is that?

But I don't want to get into that at the moment. And I don't really want to go back and do the same thing as last week and talk about how stupid I have been and how I've wasted time during this. I don't want the Monday Moron thing to always be about the same thing, even if that is what seems to be on my mind most of the time.

So let's talk about the school I am at right now and some dumb rules that they have.

The one that really doesn't bother me that much is the no food or drink rule. I'm used to individual instructors having that rule, but here it isn't up to the instructors, they just have the rule for all of the classrooms all of the time. And that includes the art labs.

That's just wrong. Art labs have classes that are two or three hours long. And what is the big deal if there are crumbs or something like that in the ceramics lab? The ceramics lab is a mess and constantly being cleaned anyway. So what if a few potato chip crumbs get cleaned up along with the dried clay bits? How is this a hardship or added work for anyone?

The instructor gives everyone the option of taking a ten minute break, but that's really not the same thing. I usually don't want to stop what I'm doing for ten minutes, to go get a soda and chips. And the few times that I bother to do that, I end up having to throw half of it away when the break is over, and I don't like to waste stuff. If I paid to have a snack, I should be able to eat all of it.

That's really not such a problem for me. Even when there is a rule like that, I ignore it and bring a bottle of water. (Unless I am in a computer lab or someplace that has a legitimate reason for banning even water.) And I can tell myself that I really don't need the soda or the chips. But the same rule applies to the Saturday only class, which is six and a half hours. There are two scheduled ten minute breaks, which only leaves fifteen minutes for lunch. They aren't even given the option of skipping the two ten minute breaks to get a longer lunch break. A forty-five minute lunch break is reasonable, but fifteen minutes is not.

But my main problem with this place is the rule that we are not allowed in the lab unless someone on staff is in the room with us. Therefore, there is no open lab time. The instructor cannot be expected to sit in the room with us outside of class time, and he has been unable to find someone to babysit us, so the room is locked all of the time when a class is not scheduled. He tries to make sure that the assignments do not take longer than the class period, but really for a class of this type the students should put in a minimum three extra hours of lab time.

This is especially annoying for me, since I do not need an extra art credit, and I specifically took this class so that I would have lab space to work in. So to get extra lab time, I have to attend his other classes, which are spread out over the entire week. I put in about forty hours a week in my last class. If I were in the lab every time the doors were unlocked, I'd only have about twenty-four hours per week. I've quit trying to do anything near that. It just wastes too much time and gas driving back and forth all week.

What is really upsetting is when there is already a maintenance person or someone like that in the lab, and they run you out. I have had to get the campus police to let me back in to get my books after that happened a couple of times.

And you would think that with the lab being locked for so much of the time that your stuff would be safe, but there have still been a couple of thefts. One of my tools went missing, but I think that was an honest mistake. And there's a box of them from students who left their stuff last year, so I just took one of those to replace it. But another student had his whole tool kit taken. So you can't get into the lab because it is locked up, but your stuff still gets stolen, so you wonder what is the point of it being locked up in the first place.

Not that I'd really want it to be left unlocked all of the time. There would be serious theft all of the time if they did that. But surely some compromise is possible. Like maybe security could be called to let one of us in, and then they could come and check up on us every fifteen minutes or so, and then lock the room when we're ready to leave. And most of us have cell phones now, so we could even just call and tell them when we're ready to leave.

But no. They just have this rule that keeps us from getting our work done. They like their rules and they aren't going to change them.


David in DC said...

Speaking from my perch as a lapsed (sort of) lawyer, they might be worrying about liability if they let unsupervised students into a lab with poyentially dangerous equipment (kilns, chemical glazes, brushes ---you could put an eye out with the wrong end)

It's ridiculous but then lawyers and insurance risk management types can be a pretty ridiculous lot.

Stillnobodyinparticular said...

I am now curious how they apply this rule to culinary classes.

laughingattheslut said...

They do seem to be worried about the liability thing, and I suppose in the regular rooms someone could put an eye out with a pencil. But those same things happen with supervision too. I'm thinking they happen more often when the teacher is there during official class times, since there are more students there to bump into each other and so forth.
Twenty years ago, I saw a student sawing into his finger, with a manual saw. After a few minutes he's like, "What is this red stuff that keeps getting on my wax?" and then "Oh, that's blood. Help." Someone drove him to a hospital, and someone else erased the no serious injury thing on the blackboard.

And I think that they do have culinary classes now, though they didn't when my husband wanted to take them. I don't know what they do about either rule. Maybe the food rule changes to authorized food only. But surely they don't run the students out while the ovens are still on. And there's a lot of things you'd need to learn how to make that would take longer than an hour or two, especially if you are doing like wedding cakes and such.

absolutelyNobodyinParticular said...

"Twenty years ago, I saw a student sawing into his finger, with a manual saw. After a few minutes he's like, "What is this red stuff that keeps getting on my wax?"

That is just too funny. I guessed he missed taking "Human Body 101" to learn about such things as blood and pain. Probably a med student taking an arts elective.

laughingattheslut said...

This was in jewelry/metal sculpture, and the guy was working with a saw that has a blade that is about as wide as a toothpick. And you can really get so zoned in on what you're working on that you don't pay attention to much else. And this guy was making some little wax figure that he was going to cast later, and he was holding the thing so tight that his hand was going numb anyway. So even when he'd been at it for a few minutes, I still think he only cut skin.

It seemed like a lot of odd things happened in that class. This one guy came in and said that the old something or other building down the street had burned down, and everyone went...Oh. And then a bit later another guy came in and said that the something or other building had burned down, and did anyone else want to go with him to pick up charcoal? And a couple of guys got up and left.