You enter the lobby of MCC a week before the beginning of the fall semester, your class schedule in one hand and your yellow map in the other. You take a deep breath and enter the intimidating halls of what seems like the largest building in the county.
Your eyes dart back and forth from your schedule to your map, praying that all your classrooms will be close to each other. Walking on the second floor, you get the feeling that you already went down this hallway and suddenly the numbers on the classrooms are all even instead of the normal order of even, odd, even, odd. Trying to stay calm, you follow the map carefully until you finally find the classroom. Happy and relieved, you decide to come back another day to find the next class, for this day had been far too stressful.
Every freshman soon learns that MCC is not built like other schools. It is built like a ship, with the main floor having rooms numbered in the 100s and the lower-level rooms being numbered in the 200s instead of the logical other way around. The only blessing is the second floor, where everything is in order and at peace. Be grateful for any classes you have on the second floor.
A surprising twist that always catches freshmen off guard is the numbering of the classrooms. On the left side of the building, all the rooms end in an odd number, while on the right side they all end in even numbers. If you look at the map carefully you can find it. However, if you just skim the map you’ll go to classroom 334 and think to yourself, “Yes! Finally! I found my classroom! Room 335 right next to 334.” You’ll be in for a jaw drop when you find that next to 334 is actually 330. Room 332 is across the hall.
Though this may be confusing for the first few weeks, you do get the hang of it soon enough, although for the benefit of everyone at the school, we need a change in how the hallways look. Sure, most people can catch on to the number system quickly, but some people are better at finding places using visuals. Like when driving to the store, people identify that they are going the right way by what is surrounding them and what is near the location they are trying to get to. At MCC, all the halls look the same: brick walls with a bulletin board posted here and there, which anyone who has been at the school for awhile doesn’t even look at.
For the newer students and those who have been here for a while but still may have trouble finding certain rooms, the halls seem like a never-ending maze. The fine arts department is the only part of the main building that really helps me find where rooms are. There the walls are covered in paintings and art pieces on display. Some figure out how to find their classroom just by seeing a single painting on the wall. Adding more art pieces to the school, or even having each department bring its own vibe into their sections of the halls could greatly benefit greatly those of us who may sometimes be directionally challenged… um, lost.
By Taylor DePouw – Over the Rainbow