The Old and the New

We were informed that we were to go to the new university building on the new campus today between 10 am -2 pm. I was so excited to see the new building, I was tempted to cancel classes today, just to get there early, but I did not.

When I walked into my office this morning, it was like the little elves were there the night before. All of my boxed things were marked R-5 432, so was each piece of furniture marked in the same way. All of a sudden, I had a nostalgic moment. I have spent five years of my professional life in this office, in this building, and in the classroom that I use. As much as I have hated the deteriorated walls, the blackboard that is so old, you can barely write on it, it was now going to be a thing of the past. I had to take pictures and I did. Actually, I have shared this office with the other native speaking instructor, Aaron Hunter. Sometimes it has been a tight fit. I never did get my name put on the door either. My predecessor’s name plate had been hammered in with screws, not nails. I had covered it with a sign I made on the computer. It will be interesting to see whose names are put on the new office door if any at all. See the photocopier in the left hand corner of the picture? We have not had a toner cartridge for it for over two years.

Classes were over and I ran for the bus to get to the new building, wanting to be enthralled, but was prepared for disillusionment. I walked up and down the street where construction was going on, but could not find the entrance. After walking around to the other part of the campus, the road was congested with trucks, cars, and workmen with little room to get by. I had to ask where the building was and how to get it. A very helpful young man helped me along, but the construction foreman wanted to know why I wanted to go in. Surely, I could not have been the first one there at 1:20 pm.

This kind young man decided he needed to escort me upstairs to the room number I had been given, 432. Yes, the fourth floor with the ground floor counting as zero. He must have caught me looking longingly at the two elevators, as he said “The lifts are not operational yet.” Dear higher power, make them work soon, really soon.

There was every time of construction worker imaginable working furiously in all of the halls and some of the rooms. The halls are filled with dust from cutting wood, sheets covering the floors for the painters, but through it all there was a gloriously bright and cheerful new building.

When we reached room 432, I had to keep from falling on knees with praise. The office is incredible. It is huge, with three desks, a glass cabinet, locked drawers, a coat closet, and other desks to spread things out on or to work with students. This was beyond my dreams. I cannot wait to move in now.
Our old classroom was spacious, but when you used blue stick on the walls, it took part of the wall with it when it was removed.

The classroom that is supposedly where all of my classes will be is equally new and luscious. The brand new chairs and tables with a virgin blackboard will thrill the students to no end. I will have to be creative to find some way of make it less teacher-centered and more seminar centered, but that will work itself out in time. It is all so impressive.

This is a space that one can be proud of and I certainly hope the students appreciate the differences.