Our class meets at 10:00 am. As is often the case, there is another class that meets in the same classroom an hour before ours. For the past five weeks or so our class has come in at 9:45 to find the desks far removed from their original rows and strewn about the classroom in a misshapen circle, as if some kind of bizarre tribal council has taken place during one of the previous classes. Twice a week myself and a few other kind souls do our best to return the desks to their original positions before class starts. Every single week.
At first we asked our professor what was going on and she was equally confused. She told us she'd try and figure out who was in here before us and see if she could have a talk with the professor, but that of course led nowhere. So we just continued to come in every morning and drag the desks back into some kind of order.
All that changed yesterday morning when it started to rain. A handful of us were standing outside and darted in the moment the previous class let out. The classroom was a mess but, to our great surprise, the professor was still there! The few of us moved towards the areas where we usually sit, wondering if we should put the desks back or leave them as they were for our own professor to see firsthand. A few more students trickled in as the professor from the previous class continued to put her papers in order and this is when one of my braver classmates decided to speak up and finally address this issue. "Excuse me," she said politely, "could you ask your students to put the desks back at the end of class?"
And the professor fucking flipped.
"No," she said flatly. "My class shouldn't have to be subservient to any other class and I'm not going to move them because I have a broken ankle. Why should my class have to put the desks back when we're not not the ones moving them? "
"Wait, you mean your class isn't moving the desks...?"
"No! We just come in and find them like this every day! They were like this the first day we came in so I just have class like this. You're the ones moving them!"
Some other poor student decided to step in. "No, no, Ma'am. That's not us, our class has always been in rows. We thought maybe you were moving the--"
By this time the professor had gathered up her paperwork and was ready to leave. "Well it's not my class and we shouldn't have to be responsible for putting the desks back!" and this is where things got really crazy. The professor then stormed out of the room, came back in, and pointed angrily at the student who had tried to intercede, "And you shouldn't be ordering professors around! That's rude and it's no way to talk to a professor!"
The angry professor, who from this point on shall be known as Dr. Nutter, then fled the scene, leaving the rest of us totally speechless. Except for one student who piped up as Dr. Nutter left for the second time, "Uh, we pay you..." Unfortunately, she was too far gone into her mental breakdown to hear him.
One giant, collective thought bubble with the letters "WTF?" hovered above our heads. No one knew what had just hit us or what we had done to deserve it. The class started mumbling and shaking their heads as we worked together to put the desks back in order. We sat down, resolved to tell our professor, who shall be known as Dr. Awesome, all about the shit that had just went down.
Dr. Awesome came in a few minutes later and the student who had started this whole thing with a simple question was bouncing in her seat. "Boy, do we have a story to tell you." We quickly informed Dr. Awesome of everything that had happened, including the accusation of rudeness that had been hurled at our fellow classmate, and Dr. Awesome stared back at us with the same expression of "Oh my God, are you serious?" that we had been sporting only moments ago.
Dr. Awesome apologized for what had happened and told us that was no way for a professor to speak to a student. Someone managed to get Dr. Nutter's name from the previous class and Dr. Awesome tried looking her up on the faculty database. We described Dr. Nutter to her and told her again, in great detail, about everything that had happened. . Dr. Awesome was definitely not pleased. The History department is a very close knit group for a couple of different reasons. One is probably because you have to be at least a little bit crazy to be obsessed with old things and the other is that History is still very much an underappreciated discipline. So we look out for each other. You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us.
We also told Dr. Awesome that, according to Dr. Nutter, her class are not the ones moving the desks. And if that's the truth, then it has to be another class in the morning before Dr. Nutter's or one later in the day after ours. In any case, we somehow had to get in touch with the class that was moving the desks. So, at the end of class Dr. Awesome found a piece of chalk and wrote a note on the blackboard in very big, hard to miss letters:
Please return desks to original positions.
--Dr. Super Awesome
She signed the note with her full name and extension number as if to say, "There, that ought to piss em off." Dr. Awesome apologized to us again because, since we had finally raised the issue, there was the high possibility of Dr. Nutter deciding to fuck with us in return. So it's possible that we may have just started a war with the Humanities department or whatever it is that Dr. Nutter teaches. I hear there's gonna be a rumble in the courtyard and if so, I absolutely refuse to participate without at least a 12 piece orchestra.
I may have an update tomorrow. Either way, I'll keep you posted.