Rant of the Week: Terribly Tiny Desks


As an English major, I obviously spend a good portion of my day in Zinzendorf Hall.

I lounge on the couches in the Writing Center in between classes, spend several hours a week in the common area working as a student assistant, and have classes in both classrooms. As a whole, Zinzendorf is a nice building, especially considering it is one of the older buildings on campus.

However, there is one complaint everyone seems to have about Zinzendorf: the horribly tiny desks.

You know which ones I’m talking about. Those poor excuses for furniture that make sitting on the floor more appealing.

Picture this: you wake up early on one of these cold autumn mornings, grab a hot cup of coffee, and head to your class in Zinzendorf. You walk in the room and scan the available seats for a good spot as if you don’t already know your fate is sealed. With a heavy sigh, you drop your bag next to one of those puny contraptions and slide into your seat. You take out your laptop, which is larger than the desk itself, and find a way to balance it on the surface.

Now where does your coffee go? That’s a good question. You can either try to hold it the entire time or put it on the floor and risk someone kicking it over.

This is the constant struggle in Zinzendorf, and it applies to much more than coffee. Once you take out a notebook or laptop, there isn’t any room for much else. It becomes particularly frustrating when the class is reading from a textbook that day.

In these instances, you have to somehow keep your book open to follow along while taking notes at the same time; there just is not enough room.

One of your only options is to show up early and fight your classmates for one of those slightly larger, older, and highly sought-after desks. These desks aren’t even much bigger, but they feel like a jump from economy to first class.

Making matters worse is the lack of desks for those who are left-handed. Lefties make up about 10% of the American population, which may not seem like a lot, but I’m sure you can think of several people you know who are left-handed. I know I can.

Despite this, there are only one or two desks in each Zinzendorf classroom that can cater to a leftie’s needs. These desks are already uncomfortable and inconvenient, and the lack of left-handed desks makes them even more so.

Unfortunately, Zinzendorf is not the only building on campus that is plagued by these useless P.O.S. (pieces of seating, that is). I have had classes in Comenius, Memorial Hall, and PPHAC that have these tiny desks as well.

The obvious solution would be to replace these desks with tables. That way, there is not only more space to do work, but more room to get comfortable.

The absolute worst thing is when you have to sit in one of these tiny desks for a three-hour-long night class. I should know; I do it every week.

The table solution may work for larger classrooms such as in PPHAC or Comenius, but the classrooms in Zinzendorf are cramped as is. Introducing tables may sound easy, but there simply is not room for them.

So, I guess we will all have to continue fighting each other for those coveted desks with the orange backs.

May the odds be ever in your favor.