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The Current

New furniture troublesome but necessary

Workers move the old furniture out of classrooms in order to move in with the new. Photo by Sonora Slater.

180 days a year you can find students behind a desk studying and learning while sitting on old, plastic chairs that have often been at the school for generations. When students arrived to their classes on Monday, August 26, they were surprised by the rumored new furniture, and a debate has arisen among Bruins over whether or not this new furniture is a good fit to the school’s environment. 

It is definitely easy to find some issues from the new furniture, and Senior Zoey Moody has brought up some thoughts regarding the downfalls of the chairs.

“[The furniture is] okay but I don’t like the chairs because they’re hard to move,” said Moody. 

Senior Karissa Johnson had mixed opinions on the furniture, saying both positive and agreed with Moody regarding the frustration of the chairs’ limited mobility. 

“I think the new furniture is nice, except the chairs are really frustrating because you can’t really get in and out of them easily,” she said. 

However, Junior Connor McGehee had something to say about the furniture on more of a positive note.

“I really like it, it’s really comfortable and it makes our school look a lot nicer and a lot more clean compared to the other stuff we’ve had for a while,” said McGehee.

Social Science Teacher Jeffrey Carrow shared his opinion on the new furniture as well.

“I think change is always a little bit hard, especially for me since I’ve been here for so many years,” he said. “But… y’know, really, I think it was time. Rows of desks feel kinda like 1950’s, to me and this feels like we’re at least attempting to create these little learning environment and learning pods.”

Carrying on, Mr. Carrow explained some challenges he has faced with the new furniture so far

“I do believe these little groups of students can lend themselves to a lot of conversation amongst students, and I found it a little more challenging getting students to come back to me after a class discussion question,” he said. “ … They’re really social. They [the furniture] kind of promotes social behavior which is a little bit challenging on classroom management.”

McGehee added more positive traits that he believes work to counteract the negative aspects of the new furniture. 

“I feel like the way that these chairs were built and stuff, and the desks and everything, that they’ve probably done a lot of research into this and have done a lot of different schools with these kinds of furniture,” he said. “That kind of research has to show or the school wouldn’t have been spending the money on it in the first place.”

Johnson elaborated on her opinion of the “high desks.” These higher desks have both higher table legs and chairs, almost like a bar stool height.

“I think the higher desks in the back of the classroom are nice because you can see better above everyone else, but also they’re more of a distraction and they’re harder to use because you can’t write on them very easily,” she said.

Moody had a different opinion on them.

“I think it’s kinda weird because they want everyone to be in groups, why would they want to have higher desks and lower desks and make it different,” she said. “I think the higher desks were so you could stand at them, but we don’t want to do that, I kinda like the idea because sitting down is really bad for you if you do it a lot but I don’t think we were ready for it yet.”

Mr. Carrow then added a more mixed opinion on the desks.

“There’s like a spatial attractiveness that I kinda like about different levels of desks now, first I was kinda like, they’re up there, they’re down here, now I’m kinda like, it provides a little dimension for me as an individual,” he said.

Another concern that was brought up was the funding that paid for hundreds of new desks and chairs, and whether that money could have been used for something else. That money could have definitely been put towards other things instead. Moody had a similar mindset, offering specific examples. 

“I don’t know how much it cost, but we got it for everyone so I’m sure it cost a lot, and we still need a new speaker system in the MPR and stuff,” Moody said. “ And… our scoreboard doesn’t work, so I feel like they would have definitely thought about that first before they got the new furniture.”

Mr. Carrow explained that the money came from Measure B, a measure that gave a significantly increased amount of funding to schools, and said that he felt it was a good decision.

“I think those desks had seen their best days, so yeah I’m gonna say sure man, let’s get some new furniture, why not you know,” Mr. Carrow said. “We worked really hard to pass that Measure B … I had student volunteers canvassing neighborhoods to get that Measure B pass.”

This new furniture looks nice, obviously, but we can easily see some negative things about it right away, like how the chairs are obviously hard to scoot in and out. The higher chairs are especially hard because many Bruins do like to have the desk as close to them as they can get. If some people like their chairs like that, they would have to lift their legs up high to even get on the chair. These difficulties are minor, but still, considering them, is the new furniture really worth the cost? 

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New furniture troublesome but necessary