Senior thesis crunch time is quickly approaching, so this seems like a good opportunity to reiterate the four unofficial computer lab rules. Some of these may seem obvious to you, and you’re wondering why the Forum dedicated an entire article to self-evident principles. Unfortunately, not everyone is as enlightened and considerate as you are, since these simple tips are not self-evident to all.
1) Poppa is not TNC. I understand that you want to chat and procrastinate from doing work. We all do. Sometimes I would rather roast a leg of lamb, or lay out, or sit around my apartment and do nothing at all in order to avoid doing work (especially if that work is thesis). But I don’t go to Poppa (or Ryal, or South Lab) to do those things – I go to Poppa to get stuff done.
Having a 45-minute conversation in the middle of Poppa is not only distracting, it’s disrespectful towards your fellow CMCers. People have lockers in Poppa for a reason (and it’s not because they need extra storage space) – it’s because their lives have taken a sad turn for the worse, and they’re desperate, desperate for a safe place. You talking for 45 minutes means that these poor souls are that much further away from the light at the end of tunnel, from getting to a place where they no longer eat three meals a day in a computer lab. So have a little more consideration for your Poppa-comrades, and take your attempts at flirtatious banter outside the study zone.
2) Eyes on the prize. Don’t look at other people’s screens if you weren’t asked to. It’s just weird. If you’re already creeping people out at 20, God only knows where you’ll be at 60.
3) Use it or lose it. Don’t lock your computer for an unreasonable amount time. But what’s unreasonable? Going quickly to the Motley or Hub to get food – reasonable. Going to class – unreasonable. Going to the restroom – reasonable. Going to shot-gun a beer in Appleby – unreasonable. See, it’s easy.
That being said, don’t kick someone off the computer who has clearly just stepped out for a minute. Although seniors have some serious business to take care of, that doesn’t mean we can be tyrants and just stomp all over the underclassmen.
4) Hot off the presses. Somehow, whenever I go to print a paper, there’s suddenly an intense traffic jam at the printer. But standing in front of the printer, trying to find your one page in the midst of 44389024823 print-outs is neither efficient nor helpful toward your peers who are also printing papers, fancy spreadsheets, etc. Instead, take them out, and put them on top of the printer. If you’re nice, sort them out based on people’s names. Be careful not to throw away someone’s name sheet or entire print out.
Happy labbing. One day, you may be fortunate enough to leave.