Every student has had that indescribable moment. You reach under your desk and feel your fingers slowly sinking into the ghastly, outrageous—and just “ewh”—mess of gum that lies stuck under the desk.
By the look of most of the chairs and tables in the classrooms, Andover High school furniture seems like it has gone through wars. Students, teachers and even custodians have different opinions on who is responsible for cleaning and taking care of this hot mess that students are required to use for the most part of the 990 hours in school per year.
Over the years hundreds of desks and tables have come in and out of AHS; Jeff Znamierowski, custodian, confirmed that the school gets new furniture each year. Despite that there is effort being put into fixing furniture during the summer and getting new furniture each year, a lot of furniture is not in the greatest of conditions.
Dr. Lord said that recent years have seen new furniture, such as new chairs for the cafeteria and almost eighty new desks last summer. However, Tom Delaney, custodian, said that furniture is only replaced when truly in desperate need. And a lack of custodial staff last summer led to furniture not being top of the priority list.
Some students have expressed their complaints. Dawna Badie, freshman said, “It’s really perturbing. [When] working in class, I’ll come across old gum under my desk, and it’s not a nice sight. It’s really distracting because I can’t focus on my work after experiencing something like that: it makes it difficult to concentrate in class.”
Not only are desks and chairs struggling with disgraceful dirt, but furniture all over the school is worn out and gradually losing the power to live. Some may prefer the wobbly chair at the back of the classroom, but many dislike the uncomfortable feeling when annoyingly rocking side to side with a miserable, quiet, creaking sound.
The lunch tables—surprise, surprise—are not much better compared to the horrid classroom furniture. You dread the common sight of a puddle of chocolate milk dribbling off the table, and the yellow crumbs that lie face down undesirably, waiting to be cleared.
Yet cleanliness of the lunch tables has positively seen an upgrade since the added lunch bell that rings a few minutes before the actual ending of lunch, to remind everyone to pick up after themselves. “Without a doubt the cafe has definitely improved since the kids are now more aware of cleaning after themselves,” says Jeff Znamierowski, custodian.
In order for everyone to feel clean and comfortable in our “safe, supportive, and equitable learning environment,” as the handbook kindly suggests, students especially need to stop and think before they stick a piece of gum under the table. Wake up and smell the rotting Hubba Bubba.
By Fatima Ali