Character or concern: a classroom review

Arden Luckett and Isadora Groves

Welcome to room 320, where every whiteboard hangs askew and mold may or may not be growing within the ceiling, which only weeks ago had collapsed to the floor. This along with the broken AC and generally moist atmosphere makes room 320 an environment that Victor Vela, a Spanish teacher at Jackson-Reed, is lucky enough to experience first hand.    

The ceiling collapse was a consequence of a burst pipe which flooded most of the fourth and some of the third floor of the building before Thanksgiving break. Students, Vela, and other inhabitants of room 320 were relocated to the gym while the classroom underwent repairs. Even after the repairs, Vela is worried the problem is not yet solved. 

“I’m concerned with the collapsing of the ceiling,” he said, the safety of his students being his top priority. “The drywall is probably still wet or humid and can probably lead to mold.” Vela explained how he believed that mold had taken over the ceilings of not only Room 320, but also most of the fourth floor. 

Vela also noted that since the water pipe exploded, he had noticed that the air is super moist. He said that “all the paper in the room [when taped to the wall] unglues itself.”  

The broken AC exacerbates the situation. “We have been experiencing a few issues with the AC where it suddenly gets really cold in the winter,” he said. While students do not enjoy the freezing cold temperatures of the classroom, they also don’t miss the sweltering hot conditions during the beginning of the school year.

While room 320 has many quirks, Vela admires the big windows that fill his classroom with the glow of the sun, which provides him with a beautiful view. “I like the natural light,” he said. “It’s relaxing. You can see the city.” He reminds us that “houses with a view are more expensive.”

A classroom without quirks is a classroom devoid of character, and if there is one thing that room 320 has, it’s character. •