Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Late Afternoon Crickets

In telling you this, I’m not really helping you narrow down where I work. That’s scary.

At my college, the classrooms are pretty much empty by 3:00. They stay empty until the evening classes start – most at 6:00, some at 6:30. That’s an awfully long dead period five days a week.

At 4:00, you could bowl in the hallways and not hit anybody. Sometimes I think I hear crickets, or the gentle sound of tumbleweeds blowing in the distance.

We’ve tried running classes in the dreaded ‘twilight’ hours, but other than a few nursing labs (we have so much demand in that program that students will take whatever they can get), we’ve had too few takers to make it worthwhile. So the classrooms sit.

As a cc, sports are a limited presence, so that’s not really the issue. Day students like to get out by the early afternoon to go to their jobs, or just to go home. Night students usually have day jobs, so they really can’t get here before 5:30 or 6:00.

Has your college found a way to use its facilities productively in the late afternoons? I’m stumped, and we’re hurting enough financially that it seems silly to let all these fixed costs quietly mount.