DYSTOPIA—The start of the spring semester has Dystopia College administrators scrambling to find temporary classroom and office space in the wake of the explosion that destroyed most of C. N. K. Shipmann Hall, affectionately known as “the White Whale,” at the end of the fall semester.
An adjunct professor of English, Will Bardly, and a senior English major, Rick Kidd, claimed responsibility for the explosion that destroyed all but one wing of the building, which housed classrooms and faculty offices for liberal arts and humanities. Bardly and Kidd are now “contending with the appropriate legal processes,” according to the college’s legal counsel, Fgn Gocha Na.
The college plans to replace the building as soon as funds become available, but a funding source has not yet been nailed down, according to a tweet from Dystopia President Overly Payeed-Admyn, who has not yet returned from a holiday “recruiting trip” to Tahiti.
In the meantime, the college is desperately short of classroom space, and a number of professors have been left without office space, according to Provost Eddina Field.
Fortunately, Field said, the weather has been unseasonably pleasant, so some outdoor class meetings have been possible, and the college is bringing in some portable classrooms to ease the situation in the short term. She said she expects most of those to be in place by the end of January. For the first couple of weeks of the semester, she said, “we will be doing a lot of improvising.” Classroom space is always a priority, though, she added, and “temporary solutions will be enacted ASAP.”
As for faculty members displaced from their offices, “they’re just S.O.L., basically,” the provost said. The students have to come first, she added, and faculty members “will just have to deal with it.”
Asst. Prof. of English Owen Hornblower said he understands the priority being given to space for class meetings, but the lack of an office is nevertheless a great inconvenience. He said that, although he used his office less than half an hour per week, the time he spent there was “always a very productive fifteen or twenty minutes.” Left without an office, he said he has been forced to work and hold office hours at The Dead Albatross, a popular local pub. Although that arrangement has worked well enough so far, it has also resulted in “an enormous bar tab.”
Asst. Prof. of French and Philosophy Pompe S. Asse, however, said he has fared less well in his efforts to find a temporary workspace. He said he simply cannot lower himself to frequent The Dead Albatross because of its “absolutely atrocious” wine list.
The head of the Department of Whatever It’s Called Today, Prof. Donna B. Askenme, said the office issue is “obviously more critical” for administrators such as herself, who, unlike faculty members “actually work in our offices.” She said she is currently working in a small janitorial closet in another campus building, and “the only good thing about it is that it’s much harder for people to find me.”
Several professors were questioned about the loss of files and books and such things from their destroyed offices, but all described that aspect of the situation as “a blessing.”
The students interviewed—all of whom wished to remain anonymous—about the classroom-space shortage said they aren’t particularly worried about it since they rarely attend class anyway. “Only if there’s a major exam or I’ve got a bad case of insomnia,” one said.
T. Allen Culpepper