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The 5 Worst Classrooms on Campus

During your time at Penn State, you have surely hopefully gone to class at least once. Some of these classes may have been in lovely, or at least serviceable, locales. Others, though, have been held in awful, awful rooms, worse than a thousand hells simultaneously. With the help of both the always-lovely photographer extraordinaire Eric Weiss and Onward State’s Twitter followers, I ventured into the bellies of the beasts and determined the five worst classrooms on campus.

5. 230 Theatre (h/t @eliglazier)

Why It Sucks: When you walk into this classroom, you immediately notice two things. First, it’s shaped like a trapezoid. Second, the desks are gratuitously close to each other. If this room were a middle school dance and the chairs were kids, then the chaperones would be having a fit. Seriously, in order to move these desks into any other kind of position, you have to play some sort of three-dimensional version of Tetris. And I haven’t even mentioned the creepy one-way mirror in the back on the only orange wall in the room (see above picture) (every other wall is white). Are all classes here secret Psych experiments? Or maybe there’s a class within a class. Inception.

Survival Tips: Stay focused on the front of the room. If you don’t, you may get stuck into a trance gazing into the back orange wall. Bring a pair of sunglasses to prevent falling into the trance, too.

4. 108 Forum (h/t @schickie019)

Why It Sucks: Everyone’s had a class in the Forum. It’s loud, it’s artificial, and it smells awful (don’t worry, it’s not just you). The desks are not only close together, but they’re tiny—try fitting a whole textbook on there sometime. If someone needs to get into the middle of a row, everyone on one side of the row has to momentarily put all of their stuff away, because aisle space and legroom are nearly nonexistent. It’s just a bad place to be.

Survival Tips: Be invisible. Avoid showing up if possible (your senses will thank you). Since it’s the Forum, your professor probably doesn’t even know your name. If your class uses a clicker to gauge attendance/participation, consider hiring a surrogate.

3. 10 Sparks (h/t @CasaNoVApsu)

Why It Sucks: Aside from the cramped seating issues that plagued 230 Theatre and 108 Forum, 10 Sparks also features a state-of-the-art crackling speaker system straight from the 1940s. This is great for a big lecture, because who wants to hear their professor talk for more than seven seconds without the sound breaking up? The entire room (speakers included) gives off that “dad-trying-to-be-cool-and/or-ironic-but-just-solidifying-himself-as-even-more-of-a-dad” kind of vibe (“Hey son, I just bought Steely Dan on vinyl! They’re so “dope.”)

Survival Tips: Wear headphones that are somehow attached to your professor’s mic for optimal aural quality. Just don’t listen to music on them in the middle of class. No one likes that guy.

2. 60 Willard (h/t @TheDaschMan)

Why It Sucks: Remember when I talked about how cramped the desks in 230 Theatre were? They’re nothing compared to the horrors of 60 Willard. Imagine the Theatre room, except with all of the desks immobile. Imagine the worst parts of a big lecture room (small desks, lack of personal space, immobile chairs) combined with the worst parts of a small seminar room (no stadium seating, small physical size of the room) into some horrible genetic failure of a learning environment. Welcome to 60 Willard.

Survival Tips: Find literally the only desk that moves and has a separate chair. You’ll be glad you did.

1. 117 Osmond (h/t @AaronFleishman)

Why It Sucks: Look at this piece of shit. It’s no surprise that this was the most requested classroom on Twitter. You walk into the room and see a whole lot of nothing. Then you look down. Just look at the above picture for a second. Soak it in. I’ll wait (I’m just words on a screen at this point, after all. What else am I gonna do?). The professor has to actually teach to what is essentially a 45 degree slope. And the students have to sit there and pay attention–while trying not to die! Good lord! Even Edmund Hillary wouldn’t mess with a class in 117 Osmond.

Survival Tips: If you absolutely must go to a class here, be sure to bring a plastic bag in case you need to throw up. If you don’t have one handy (or you respect plastic too much), then a carefully-sculpted copy of The Daily Collegian will also suffice.

Have any horror stories from any of these rooms? Disagree with my rankings? Feel like I left off the worst room on campus? Comment away.

About the Author

Evan Kalikow

Evan Kalikow co-founded Onward State in November 2008 with Davis Shaver and Eli Glazier. Having previously served as a Writer, Editor, Standards Editor, and Community Manager, Evan is now a proud alumnus of both Onward State and Penn State. He was also named "Person of the Year" by Time Magazine in 2006.

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