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school of music silliness

So the university of oregon school of music decided to remodel their student lounge. It was finished sometime in the last week or two.

The lounge was originally built in the '60s or thereabouts with a lot of bright orange furniture. Now, there are tasteful small tables and wooden chairs and some mood wall lighting on the wall that gives it more of a "coffeehouse" atmosphere.

Most of the people i've talked to hate the change.

For one thing, the orange chairs were ugly, yes, but a) they had soft padding as opposed to the rigid hard backs of the current chairs, b) they were full body length (like couches), so many people would use them to catch naps in between classes which you just can't do with a sitting chair, and c) they simply had more character than *anything* else in the school of music. There wasn't anything else around campus that had that kind of atmosphere. Now, it's cookie-cutter. it's the SoM's attempt to look more "hip" or "fashionable" which i translate as "contrived."

The funny thing about it is that there are a couple of things that contradict the intimate atmosphere it tries to portray.

For one thing, while there is mood lighting set up on the walls, there are also bright standard florescent lights set up on the ceiling. I suppose if you stood right up to the wall you could try to capture the warm lighting as opposed to the hospital lighting, but then everyone would laugh at you.

But more absurdly is the chair/table setup. The SoM has had issues of theft in the past, so most of the furniture throughout the building are "secured" in some way, usually by using those thick security cables to attach the furniture either to a heater or to other furniture. In this new lounge, there are small tables and about four chairs around each table, and each of these table "pods" has a single security cable running through them to connect the four chairs and table together.

But i guess they were short of security cable, or maybe the people that put it on were just plain *stupid*, because they didn't give the cable that much slack. Even with all of the chairs pushed in, none of the cable actually touches the ground because it's too short. If all of the chairs were pulled out to a regular "i want to sit down" or "i want to get up" kind of position, it makes the cable taut, essentially making it a two foot obstacle that people have to step over.

*shakes head* It's an accident waiting to happen. I can picture four people sitting at the table, one person decides to get up, trips over the security cable and falls on his/er face whilst pulling all of the chairs with him/er and causing a clusterfrell of fallen chairs, tables, and people.

but at least the furniture is secure.


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March 2017