In this lecture hall review, Bwog navigates its way through the maze of Schermerhorn to arrive in a cushioned wonderland inhabited by over-zealous freshmen and cocky professors alike.
We all have high expectations the first time we walk into Schermerhorn 501. It’s the first semester of freshman year, and you’ve optimistically set out to worm your way into Gulati’s class even though it filled up three hours before your shitty registration time. You even woke up at 8 am to show up early to your first “real” college class, even though you don’t have to make it to Lit Hum until 2:10. Hordes of overeager freshmen just like you pour into Schermerhorn, and you can’t help but be a little excited. It’s just like Spiderman!
Unfortunately, Schermerhorn 501 is not Havemeyer 309. Whether it’s Principles or Science of Psych or even Prezbo’s class, 501 has the incredible power to make virtually every class within its overheated walls overwhelmingly mediocre. 501’s biggest problem is its near-perfect conditions for falling asleep: it’s warm, it’s crowded, and unless you’re one of the poor kids who got to class late and got stuck sitting on a windowsill (there’s about thirty of those when the room’s at full capacity), you get a nice, semi-cushioned auditorium seat that’s an open invitation to doze off after waking up early. Or after lunch. Or after your pre-class nap.
Then there’s the undeniable fact that the room just isn’t aesthetically pleasing. Everything in the room is relentlessly beige, making the floor, walls, and chairs melt together in a way that makes whatever the lecturer is saying 520% less interesting, especially when the lecture’s already exploring scintillating questions like “What’s a hypothesis?” or “Did you know I’m the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation?” Your smartphone screen has never looked this inviting, though Gulati will call you out if you so much as think about it.
Unlike Havemeyer 309 or that one place in Teacher’s College where everyone surfs the Internet during FroSci, there’s no stadium-like seating configuration or mezzanine to camp out in—just a gentle slope that inevitably leads to watching the kid in front of you go on an online shopping spree or staring at the back of some basketball player’s head. Finally, there’s no view of Low or Butler for optimal window-gazing, unless the heavy machinery in the Grove is more your thing.
Despite its shortcomings, Schermerhorn 501 serves an important purpose: it’s a physical reality check, letting naïve freshmen know that there’s life beyond the 200-person class they inevitably won’t get into. Gulati is not God, college is not a movie, and seminars are way better than lectures anyway.
Fiery pit of sleepiness via Shutterstock