So, I think I was given the smallest classroom on campus for my Wednesday night class. When I walked in I realized there were not enough desks, and even the people who are actually enrolled in the class and on my roster are having to sit on the floor. And this isn’t something which can be solved by having more desks put in – there is no room for more desks. The people on the floor were huddled pretty much in a corner. On top of that I had 23 people who were trying to add my class, and they were crowding in by the door with a line streaming outside, and of course everyone on my roster had shown up, so I had no empty spots.
If you know me, you know I am entirely too nice, and wanted to add everyone, however, I don’t know how I could explain that to my department chair. So I did a lottery style drawing where I added about 11 people with the idea that some will drop, or some will not have met their prerequisites and won’t be able to have their adds processed. Basically, in a room built for 25 to 30 people, I will have 46 (if they all stay).
It was unbelievably hot and musty in the room, and at any given point I was only moments away from fanning myself with a syllabus. We figured out how to use the little AC contraption, however, it is a wall mounted unit, and when you turn it on the noise is enough to drown out the construction work next door that is there to build new classrooms since the student population has long outgrown the number of buildings. Meanwhile the departments are taking turns in the makeshift classrooms while this is going on. Can you guess which department gets them this semester?
On the bright side, all of my students seemed very enthusiastic. As far as student interest goes, this is the best semester yet. This morning I put in an request for a room change to better accommodate everyone. Even among makeshift classrooms on the part of campus known as The Village, there are better ones. No, I didn’t mention that I added way more people than perhaps I should have. No one needs to know this officially. I can justify the room change perfectly well just using the people enrolled without drawing attention to that fact. Especially since with the overflow my entire lecture was me shouting about Keats and poetic terminology in order for everyone to hear who was pouring out the door, and to compensate for the air unit directly behind me. I have no idea how much of that they got, but a lot of them were taking notes and high lighting things (even the people on the floor), so all is well.
Ironically my Tuesday night classroom is *huge* and even with all the people in the class, and the 10 people I added (there was no overflow of people, so I happily added everyone), I still have empty seats.
Depending on how tonight goes, I may end up with a total of somewhere near 140 students this semester. Last semester I had 117, so it is almost like taking on another class, except not. And if I don’t get another classroom on Wednesdays I think I am going to lose my voice in a matter of weeks.
P.S. The picture for this post is representative of what I looked like after I got home last night.