MCC Daily Tribune Archive

The Secret Society of the Serengeti


Like a vulture on the Serengeti, circling the mangled corpse of a zebra, I pace outside Mary Anne Gooding’s office sniffing out cancellations. I am a misfit in a world that glorifies high enrollment, hiding in the shadows with a few kindred colleagues who pray for lower enrollment and class cancellations. We whisper behind file cabinets, email each other in code, and meet in secret passages known only to the architects; secret passages that we are trying to turn into additional classrooms. Each semester we have a different target (TR 12:30-1:50) and a rotating secret curse (“out of phase classes”).

I want every single person to be teaching in a great room, a room that matches their unique needs and the needs of their students. I feel like a failure when I have to say, “I can’t help you” in response to a room request. When we are faced with time slots with absolutely no rooms available, I have found that we still have about an 80% chance of solving a room issue by going to the department and asking if someone can switch rooms. In this instance, all you need to do is email me, tell me you are making the mutually agreed on switch and I’ll post signs and change the master schedule.

If you are in a small department or if you can’t find someone in your department to switch, I am happy to facilitate by giving you a list of courses occupying your time slot and in a room that would meet your needs. If you contact the professor and she agrees to make the switch, just let me know and I’ll follow through.

I am not in a position to "force" classroom changes. If I absolutely have to take a classroom to meet the needs of a handicapped student or professor, I work the change through the department chair. While I am happy to make suggestions for possible switches outside your department, I can’t decide who has the most need of a certain room and make someone move out if they are not willing to do so. Fortunately this is not usually an issue because MCC faculty seem more than willing to accommodate their colleagues who have a pressing need for a certain classroom.

One last plea for TR 12:30-1:50: If you are teaching in a traditional classroom and could move your class to a computer lab (one with the flat nova desks, not the upright computer monitors) and you have 30 or fewer students, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

This message has been approved, endorsed and paid for by the Secret Society of the Serengeti. Don’t even attempt to try to discover our identities or we’ll have to remove your classroom privileges... forever.

Deborah Benjamin
Registration and Records
09/02/2004