Folwell Hall labs

Robin Huiras

Room 34 in Folwell Hall was quiet Thursday morning — too quiet. Students hunched over desks donning headphones were waiting to hear a sound, any sound. But the sound never came.
As time passed, the tension in the small listening lab turned into hysteria as the students realized the machines did not work.
“Beating the machine was the only thing I could do. It usually works,” said Joe Siff, a sixth-year senior. “I couldn’t hear a damn thing — it just wouldn’t play.”
Siff’s machine, as well as 25 others in the room, produced no sound. The ticking of the clock and the rapid clicking of the play buttons were the only noises to penetrate the stony silence in the first few minutes of the class.
“About 10 minutes into the class I began to shout,” said one student who wished to remain anonymous. “I screamed, `Professora, hay un problema, hay un grande problema.'”
Teaching assistant Maria Sanchez-Diaz could not be reached for comment. However, her students said she did not cope well with the dysfunctional tape recorders.
“This is her first year at the University, and although qualified professionally, I believe her emotions got the best of her,” said friend and co-worker Frederico Juarez.
According to the students, after several failed attempts to get the machines to function, the frazzled TA began to cry.
“If she can’t stand the heat, get out of the oven,” said Siff. “This is my last quarter of Spanish and I need to pass the class.”
Spanish 1106 is the last in a two-year language requirement mandated by the College of Liberal Arts. If students fail to receive a C or better in the class, graduation may be delayed.
“I didn’t know what to do,” said Kimberly Thompson, an English major. “I started yelling, and then the teacher freaked out. I tried to get the machine to work, but when sparks started flying from the outlet I thought I should stop. I’m so screwed.”
A small cut in the cord of the main recorder connection appears to have caused the power outage, said Ann Drew, a Facilities Management worker in Folwell Hall. “Probably a deranged student desperate to get out of a final.”
The students, however, disagree.
“The only deranged person in our class is that crazy Diaz,” Siff said. “She was always ranting about how great the University’s Spanish program is; I just want to get the hell out.”
The listening final is rescheduled. However, only two of the 25 machines in Folwell 34 remain intact. Diaz is reported to have returned to Puerto Rico for winter break.