I’ve been to a lot of college campuses while traveling for debate, including Harvard, Northwestern, Yale and Princeton. But I haven’t come in contact with many classrooms that could make waking up at 8 a.m. bearable – not necessarily something I look forward to. Emporia State is on its A-game in terms of providing an educational setting with the needs of students in mind.
I have a 9 a.m. class for the first time ever in three years of college. Getting up sucks, but being in class before God even wakes up isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Worse than any late-riser you know, I’m not a morning person. I have to set an alarm for 6:30 a.m.to even have the possibility of going any farther than the bathroom before noon. After my 10 minute long, dazed wobble to campus, I sit down in the back of my class, pull out my notes and scribble into the back of the hand-out while I struggle to get out a notebook.
I have always been this way in the morning because I believe no morning is “good.” In my opinion, mornings are nasty things. However, I haven’t always been here at ESU, and I’m learning that mornings don’t have to be bad.
What truly makes the difference is the classroom itself. Although my body longs for the warm blankets and pillow I leave behind, the HGTV-watcher in me has to appreciate the natural light pouring into the space. It usually takes me hours to fully wake up, but the soothing colors and large windows in Plumb Hall help me learn better.
Now, I’m not an expert in modern architecture or industrial design, but I did research what are known as “Green Schools” in high school. This may sound wacky, but super classrooms exist. These aren’t the classrooms of the future, but the products of decades of pedagogical and psychological studies of the way students interact with educational spaces.
Take note of your surroundings. They are built just for you. But here’s wishing to more 6-to-9s in next semester’s course listing.