Friday, May 23, 2008

Writing on the wall

So, today was my last exam and tomorrow is my last day on campus. After that I’m “free” for the summer. This seems like a good point in time to write a final post. You know, about how the blue books aren’t blue, or about how I seem to have developed Stockholm syndrome while working on my JP, or all the nifty ways you can procrastinate this summer now that the Prince won’t be publishing regularly.

But I can’t. There’s another issue which needs to be addressed, so all that fun stuff will have to wait for later.

I woke this morning to the delightful scent of paint fumes. One of the key differences between Whitman and Bloomberg (yes, I am spoiled), besides the fact that Bloomberg’s corridors didn’t feel like they could have been underground, is that Whitman (or at least the part of Whitman where I live) seems to get a new paint job every other week. (I exaggerate of course, but only slightly). So today I bumped into some of the painters and I asked them why the dorm needed yet another coat of paint.

It turns out that all of this is due to the fact that chalk markings appear on the walls and then people complain. Now, I can understand why people would complain about chalk on the walls, but what I can’t understand is why people keep writing on the walls with chalk. It also makes me wonder why there didn’t seem to be this sort of problem in Bloomberg. I have come up with several hypotheses.

  • Whitmanites as a general population are less courteous than Bloombergians.
  • All of the graffiti can be linked back to a small group of people who happen to live in Whitman.
  • The vandalism is being perpetrated by disgruntled students who aren’t in Whitman and are angry that they don’t have beach towels.
  • Or maybe the difference is between the chalkboards in Whitman and the whiteboards in Bloomberg. Presumably even drunk people know that it’s not nice to write on the walls with dry erase markers, while chalk may appear to be more innocuous.

Obviously, some of these hypotheses are not credible and I have merely put them in here for the heck of it. Maybe someone in the social sciences could investigate this phenomenon for their thesis.

Or maybe, people could just stop writing on the walls with chalk because it’s obnoxious and wasteful and inconsiderate .