Drops of rain falling through the makeshift ceiling of a trailer, creating a dank, musty odor throughout, and a potentially wet floor, chair, desk, or textbook. Some would call it an uncomfortable setting. Others, namely St. John’s students, called it class. By moving classes out of the trailers by St. Albert Hall and into the Law School building, St. John’s students may now learn in peace and dryness.
“We had leaks every time it rained, and it was so bad, student Tamikia Taylor said. “We had to place the garbage can under the leak to hold up the water as it came down. One time I remember I was so angry because I accidentally sat in a wet chair”, an incident which also occurred because of a leak.”
The trailers were originally constructed as temporary classrooms. Their extended stay has lasted over several decades, before their welcome was worn at the beginning of this semester. Being that the trailers were in use for such a long time, scores of people had the opportunity to learn there, and apparently, each had a unique experience, some positive and others, like Taylor, not.
“It was an overall nice experience for me. There was heat and air conditioning and I feel that I really can not complain,” senior Nadia Parsan said. “Oh, except that there was no bathroom. That was the only part that bothered me.”
It is safe to say that no matter what the class, a course in the trailers always seemed to have its fair share of problems.
For some, however, like junior Jenna Stravino, the trailers provided a nicer environment than a standard classroom. “I felt that I could concentrate better due to the lack of windows and the fact that there were less students,” she explained.
On the other hand, Diana Lopez, Coordinator of Student Development and Discover New York, who took classes at the trailers in the fall semester of 1999, felt “it wasn’t really an environment conducive to learning.”
“We could overhear the class next door and the wind outside, it was very distracting,” Lopez said. “Although there wasn’t any technology in the classroom, there was one good thing– the lady who sold us breakfast by the trailers, I really appreciated her there since it was such an inconvenience to go and get breakfast in the cafeteria.”
Today, instead of overhearing the class next door or fending off the rain, students can be assured a quality learning environment at the Law school or any of the other academic buildings.