October 13, 2006

Why I Hate: Teaching in R0.34/55

Follow-up to Why I Hate: The Chip & Pin machines in University outlets from No I said DublIN marathon

Why is it when you are teaching a class in R0.34/55 (the computer rooms under the Library) you always get disturbed as cattle people wander in looking for computers? Don’t get me wrong, if I was looking for a computer, that’s where I’d look. However, they seem oblivious to the mahoosive sign on the door asking them not to enter. In fact most of them peer around the sign to see whether there are any free computers.

I’ve had several thoughts about why this is:

  • Information Overload – There are so many signs/adverts/notices/posters around campus that, as there simply isn’t sufficient time for the brain to process all the information it receives and needs to ignore most things anyway, such notices/adverts are subconsciously grouped with the “information” that is to be disregarded. This was my first thought and I kind of disregarded it but, thinking about it, it makes sense. This is why wankers advertising executives are paid a tonne of cash to flog products in a world that is super-saturated with information/adverts/products. It is also why Union elections aren’t necessarily won the best candidate, but usually by the candidate with the clever/simple-est campaign.
  • They are too close to the sign – The distance between the inner and outer door is so short that people can’t take the sign in before they are upon it. This probably contributes to an extent, in conjunction with the other factors.
  • The sign is crap – This is certainly a big factor. The sign is FAR too busy, there is far too much information on it. It’s an A3 poster, fair enough, but the sign reads “Tutorial In Progress. R0.34 Booked. This room has been booked for teaching, please do not enter unless you are a member of the class, and do not disturb the class by entering” (or words to that effect). There’s a helpful No Entry sign but it isn’t much use when it’s pretty small and on a red background.
  • They don’t care – This is true in some cases and there’s a large amount of Im more important than you-ism. The number of times I’ve heard “Oh can I just print such and such” or “But there are loads of computers free” – yes there are lots free but how am I supposed to keep track of people’s progress when half the people are checking Facebook or Hotmail.

I’d be very surprised if it was just one of, or even exclusively these factors – any thoughts?

Oh, and finally, to the male member of staff that marched through the room and indignently retorted “I work here – I’m a member of staff”: Get over yourself. Your colleagues managed to come through without disturbing the session and even then apologised for coming through, why couldn’t you? Yes you work there and needed to get through but a little bit of common courtesy might be nice. You never know, I might have even carried on being polite.

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Max Hammond

    Ah, this game again. I ended up taping a notice to the door handle. And getting ruder and ruder to people who came in, which my tutees enjoyed :-)

    I found that “Excuse me, can you not read?” worked quite nicely.

    I think it’s mostly that the sign is crap, too big, and there isn’t enough space for people to see it in the cramped space that they’ve got.

    13 Oct 2006, 22:03

  2. Though I did find that doing the second year chemistry workshops in there was werid, cos 55 filled up, and then 34 was half empty, and this is the room that people are more likely to see.

    If 34 was filled up first, then surely there wouldn’t be as many people walking in, because they can see there is no space?

    15 Oct 2006, 15:25

  3. In reality either 55 or 34 would be adequate as fewer than 40 students turned up to each session.

    55 was more full for the first session and 34 for the second. I think that this was because 55 was less full before the first session started and so, as computers were free, people went into that room and logged on before I’d had the opportunity to shout at people to bugger off out of my room (that hadn’t been booked).

    It’s late I’ve had a shit day so the above probably doesn’t make sense unless you squint, but that’s your problem not mine

    17 Oct 2006, 00:19

  4. paul

    Interesting on sign problems…I am assuming, poor me, that the room is not off-limits at all times through that door; in this I find with laboratories and conference rooms the, pardon the reference,
    raptor philosophy…in other words the very first time the sign is not removed immediately after ‘in-use’ hours you have viloated a trust…and from here on out the raptors will begin trying the door/fence at all hours and times…never sure when it is actually in use…yet always hoping to catch
    you out once again…

    17 Oct 2006, 13:22

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