Your inconvenience is not my problem!
Published: Monday, May 7, 2012
Updated: Sunday, May 6, 2012 22:05
Summer break starts after this week, and The Chronicle will be out of circulation until August. But even though it’s only May, I can already guess what the big story is going to be when we come back.
Once again, we will hear all about parking on campus. Every August when school starts, students complain about where they park.
But is this really a problem? It would be one thing if there really were not enough parking spaces to accommodate the whole student body and faculty, but most complaints are not about not being able to park. They are about not being able to park right by the door to the building where they have class.
So no, this is not a problem, just a mild inconvenience. There is a simple way to solve this: wake up 10 minutes earlier so you have time to walk to class from your car.
It is important to distinguish between an actual problem and a simple matter of inconvenience. Problems usually take time to fix. Inconveniences, however, are usually easily fixable, so you have no one but yourself to blame if you don’t deal with it.
Another example from PUC would be Chartwells, which students complain about often. If you don’t like their food, don’t eat it. Since most students at PUC commute, and there are several restaurants just off campus, it’s easy (not to mention cheaper) to get food somewhere else. It’s your own fault if you have to choke down food you don’t like because you won’t take the minimal effort to go through a McDonald’s drive-thru.
To show that I’m not just lashing out at my fellow students, I’ll talk about a matter of convenience at PUC from the faculty’s side. This one serves as an example of how doing the most convenient thing from one person’s view can create problems for other people.
I’m talking about the Pearson My-Whatever-Lab programs that take up a good portion of some classes’ curriculum.
Sure, it’s way more convenient for professors, because the programs teach and grade assignments for them, but it is bad for students. Students learn by practicing and discussing the curriculum, not by a quick slideshow and a short quiz that they can go back and change the answers on three times.
It’s human nature to do things the easy way, and it’s easier to complain about how something caused you inconvenience than to change your behavior to overcome it. Still, an inconvenience to one person is better in the long run than a real problem to many people.