Requiem for the OAL

by Thomas Pinkava

The underclassmen of today do not remember the glorious shine of the Open Access Lab, for it was two years ago that it was swallowed by the darkness (the 1:1 laptop program) and became the haunt of unnatural beasts (such as the dread lord Peter Buonincontro, moral stanchion of OES). Its computers were moved, its chairs and tables were repurposed, and infernal devices of the theatre sprang up like poisonous mushrooms after a rain. But all was not lost.

One printer survived the fall; one printer, taken though it was to the Great Hall and planted there among the furbicles, remembered the days long gone, and whispered its name to itself in the long cyber-nights.

“I am US_open_access_lab. I remember.”

Now, though, it is over. The printer is now named US_Great_Hall_Printer, and the last vestige of the Open Access Lab is finally extinguished. Gone are the days that students would bash away at the safety survey; gone are the temporary warehouses erected by the Midwinter Madness committee. Now there remains only a table or two, cast out by the rigs of lights and the shelves of plays.

The change has been long in coming; younger students who do not remember the OAL used to question the strange nomenclature. The Tech Department had no particular reason to make the change, as the printer functioned just fine with a slightly out-of-place name. It wasn’t until recently, though, following the concerns of teachers, that the Tech Department made the logical change. “There are changes that have to happen”, says Ed Cecere, technological overlord, “this is part of the Tech Department’s desire for transparency and logical consistency.”

Calling the printer by its location is a necessary and good change for the clearer.However, this sets an interesting precedent, or, rather, the precedent was set two years ago. Consider this, as you run off an extra copy of Gilgamesh or sift through ten thousand SRP tables to find your one page of poetry: if the rooms of OES are so easily reassigned, which printer will be next, and which room will we lose?

thomas printer Photo Credits: Kate P.

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