June 16, 2010

Loud and Clear

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

More on the joys of working in my building: we have some sort of alarm that likes to go off every now and then for no reason we can detect. It's not the smoke alarm, or a burglar alarm, or even one of those new-fangled carbon monoxide detectors (I know those aren't that new-fangled). When it goes off, it's a loud, high-pitched, continuous noise that makes everyone crazy. Kind of like the vuvuzelas people are so into blowing at the World Cup right now. (Btw: those are so annoying. I am all for embracing the traditions and cultures of the home country, but that sound makes me CRAZY).

Today, the alarm has been going off several times an hour from anywhere between a split-second to about 5 minutes. It's annoying no matter what. It started while I was out of the office, picking up a document from my favorite central admissions lady in the world, partially because I wanted to get outside for a little bit, but also because our workstudy students seem beyond lazy today and neither one them seemed to willing to do it.

Anyway, I came back to the lovely sound I know so well, and our two workstudy students sitting in our office, looking agonized.

"How long has this been going on?" I asked.
"A long time, almost since you left," one of them told me.
"Why didn't you shut the door?" I asked, shutting it myself.
"I don't know! Wow that makes it a lot better!" said the other, after my shutting the door drastically lessened the the volume of the sound.
"Well from now on, never hesitate to shut the door when that alarm goes off. It's the worst."

Really? Neither of them thought to shut the door? Our university kinds of prides itself on the quality of student it admits, but neither of them attempted to damped a sound by shutting a door.

I mean, I did take a quarter of "The Physics of Sound" in college, and probably have a truly superior understanding of how sound waves work, and even considered becoming a speech pathologist for like 2 weeks my junior year, but I think even small children know that when something outside is loud, closing the door makes it better.

Maybe tight, tiny short-shorts are cutting off the circulation to her brain. Or her ears.

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