Life at SJCME

As told by Michaela '14

The Lecture Hall: Tales of an Uncoordinated Student

Originally, I was hoping to post a blog about the different “classroom styles” that the majority of students find themselves in each day, but as I began writing about it, the “lecture hall” style class began to haunt me due to the challenges it posed to me, especially as a freshman.

During my second semester at Saint Joseph’s College, two Western Civilization classes had been merged into one due to unforeseeable circumstances, and one of the classes was mine. The professor now needed a larger room if he was going to teach two classes and so the lecture hall became the most suitable option to accompany all of us.

First off, walking into a room which is already full of other students is nerve-wracking in itself. Then I notice there are stairs. Stairs and I have a history—one that was never told in class and will probably remain unstated for reasons of embarrassment and keeping my dignity. There are also curbs and telephone poles, but luckily for me, these are not found in the lecture hall. Professors who have taught in this lecture hall, I commend you for being able to walk up and down these stairs with grace each day.

Second, your task is to find a seat. Quickly! You want to be able to find your friends if possible. Being a freshman, I really did not know anyone, and so I wound up somewhere in the first 5 rows. I still remember who was sitting next to me: Scott, Misha, and John. I also remember the embarrassment I felt as I struggled trying to figure out the best way to situate my items and get the desk unfolded for use. Even later as a senior, I still had not developed a great methodology for figuring out the best way to attack this desk problem. These are the things I may leave Saint Joseph’s College not knowing, but I question whether or not this skill could even be taught to me—the queen of clumsy.

Lastly, the desks, once you figure them out are way too small. They’re big enough to fit a notebook and maybe a pen or pencil on them. Where do you put your coffee? I have actually kicked my coffee over a couple of times because it had to go onto the floor. Also, you are sitting close to the person next to you which is a bit uncomfortable at first, but at least the seats themselves are more comfortable than the wooden ones a student will encounter in other classrooms.

But are there any pros to this class style? Watching a movie projected onto the screen is almost like watching a movie in a theater. Also, depending on the professor and what kind of student you are, it is easier to fly under the radar. Of course, I typically sit in the front or first few rows in every classroom so that was never quite my objective, but I know some students sat toward the back for this reason.

In short, each classroom set-up has its pros and cons and these can be a matter of opinion and could vary by student. Maybe some of the readers have had similar experiences or will someday soon. One thing is certain: Kayla does not do well when faced with tasks associated with coordination; it is the persistence to try to overcome these tasks that matters.

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