The Chairtastrophe

by Thomas P.

When attempting to learn interesting material, engage with education, and better ourselves, scoliosis is not a welcome study aid. The snagging of the rear of a pair of trousers is not educationally optimal. Sliding around on one’s hindquarters while attempting to puzzle out complex mathematica is as ridiculous as it sounds.

Which begs the question: why are our chairs (the Scholarcraft model 157) so ineffectual?

The ergonomics of seating are a major problem in OES. The human spine is designed to best function when actually in a position resembling straight. No medically knowledgeable individual supports the ‘square knot spine’ theory. No decently educated person would make a pretzel out of their backbone. And even the most cranially vacuous of lowlifes would balk at the prospect of articulating their vertebrae as a trigonometric teaching tool. Simply put, the backs of our chairs are at a suboptimal angle – more than five whole degrees (from the vertical) greater than the norm. These five degrees cause students to lean forward in order to work, thereby increasing their slouch.

Another problem is the relative location of the seat to the rest of the chair. If one tries to sit fully on the seat, one’s rear is compressed into the inconvenient hole underneath the backrest. If one tries to avoid this by moving one’s posterior forward, one slides down until one’s head barely pokes out above the desk and one is sharply reprimanded for slouching.

Still another problem is the height of the seat. It’s low enough to fit under the table, but too low to place one’s feet in any configuration resembling comfortable.

The arsenal of the problems is not yet spent, however. The remainder of the chair commits small misdemeanors, from the lack of lumbar support to their immobility. As Noah S. ‘18 says, “The fact that the chairs do not slide on the most common surface in the school is unacceptable”.

All these issues and flaws with the thing we have to sit on for many hours of our lives are a major problem with the functioning of OES. Unlike others, it is very subtle. We won’t notice until the school is full of seniors slouching around with their spines folded like accordions.

Why can’t we all have chairs like the ones in the Platt Global Classroom? Those chairs are niiiiiice.

2 thoughts on “The Chairtastrophe

  1. Hi Thomas,

    Interesting post.
    While I agree with you that the wheeled chairs are more comfortable than the static ones ones, I wouldn’t describe the non-wheeled ones as ineffectual. Hyperbole aside, they serve their purpose fairly well: they seat humans. Sure, they aren’t perfect, but there are plenty of changes that could much better serve the OES Community than replacing chairs.

    By the way, yes, this is Patrick M., one of the Dig editors. Here at the Aardvark Dig we are willing to represent a variety of opinions- we don’t all agree on everything!

    Dig readers, if you have an opinion on any post, feel free to comment or send Abe A. or me a piece expressing your point of view.

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