1st Floor

October 12, 2015

Welcome to the begin­ning of the last year of UW Bath­rooms as we know it. Ya boy is finally going to grad­u­ate some­time before classes start up next year. About time. I’ve been in school far longer than most of y’alls and I’m so glad it’s all gonna be over soon. Seri­ously though, school is the worst.

But this is no time to complain. I’m not about to complain about what­ever after a seven month absence. Some of you are think­ing an absence of content gener­a­tion this long is unfor­giv­able and unpro­fes­sion­al. I have my reasons and they don’t need to be aired out here in the public realm. Time changes people in differ­ent ways, but my bath­room jour­nal­ism hasn’t been altered one bit by its flows. It is a mono­lith that stands all tests in all the dimen­sions of space and time, for the better of your lives or worse. How many kinds of things like that are there in the universe? When you factor in all the bull­shit out there, and even just on Earth itself, it comes down to negli­gi­ble amounts. Shit’s palpa­ble, man. You can actu­ally quan­tify all the bull­shit in the universe and express it as a ratio­nal func­tion over time. That line gets mad close to hitting the asymp­tote at x = 0 but there’s still that 0.00000000000000000000001 of real­ness being emit­ted from distant nebu­las and from certain kinds of subatomic parti­cles though. Obvi­ously it’s more compli­cated than that but I don’t have time to explain every­thing because I have to discuss Smith Hall and its bath­room infrastruc­ture so just look it up in a book or what­ever.

Smith Hall is located in the quad. It’s the one phys­i­cally connected to Gowen Hall but for some stupid reason you can’t actu­ally go from one part of the build­ing to the other part. To the best of my knowl­edge if you’re in Gowen but have to go to Smith you have to go outside and back in again even though they’re in the same build­ing. That’s some ques­tion­able deci­sions being made right there. Then you have to think about why all three main entrances into Smith are all at differ­ent floors. The south entrance entrance is on the ground floor, the east one is on the second floor, and the north one goes to the first floor. I get slopes and all that but why do you have to over-com­pli­cate things like this? It’s madness. But anyways, there’s a pretty good bath­room on the first floor, which is right by the south entrance, off the main hallway.

When I went in there to go pee-pee there were already prob­a­bly three dudes in there but the lights were out and there’s no windows in there. So people were just piss­ing while shrouded in dark­ness, like piss­ing in the dark at a specific target (uri­nal, obvi­ous­ly) was a totally normal thing to do. They just put up with it. At least three people thought, “Man, this whole navi­gat­ing through dark window­less rooms in build­ings built in the 20th century thing is getting old, I wonder if the archi­tects put light switches some­where… nah it’s too much effort to try to find it so fuck it I’ll just piss in the dark and deal with the myriad of conse­quences that could be asso­ci­ated with my impend­ing future course of action.” All those dudes had that thought at one point in time and were totally cool with not resolv­ing that prob­lem. Those dudes are prob­a­bly gonna be fathers some­day, man. They’re gonna be in charge of process­ing your insur­ance claims or telling you to fill out paper­work in the wait­ing room at doctor’s offices or build­ing infrastruc­ture or debug­ging viruses from your computer or fixing your trans­mis­sion. They’re gonna be in posi­tions of handling actual respon­si­bil­i­ties some­day but they cannot manage the respon­si­bil­ity of not peeing on things except for the urinal in men’s bath­rooms. The sad thing is that 90% of the human race is either on par with or below these dudes in terms of the abil­ity of making life deci­sions. Medi­tate on that.

But when I turned on the lights, things became much better! You could see where you were going ( and peeing) and marvel at how low-key cool this bath­room is. It’s decently sized, with three stalls and four urinals, although the latter are unevenly spaced from one another for no real reason (but prob­a­bly some under­ly­ing plumb­ing issue). They’re the urinals with the really large basins that hold a couple gallons of water that you pee into except that instead of the usual curvi­lin­ear shape that they come in, they were the rarer diamond-shaped vari­ety, which I don’t think I had seen on campus before. Howev­er, the diamond urinals are purely designed for aesthet­ics, as I did not notice any change in perfor­mance, for better or for worse, out of the urinal I used.

A pretty great feature of this bath­room was its exten­sive utiliza­tion of shelves. Undo­ing your belt and unzip­ping and unbut­ton­ing your pants are gener­ally regarded as two-hand jobs, and when you are stuck in the situ­a­tion of urgently need­ing to do any combi­na­tion of the above three actions but simul­ta­ne­ously hold­ing things in your hands, shelves are a really good solu­tion to this prob­lem. Shelves are also a good solu­tion when you need to wash your hands but you already have things in your hands that you need to keep dry. Smith Hall 1st floor men’s has a long shelf span­ning clear across both the urinal area and the sink area, which means really easy access to a place to put things on when you pee or wash your hands. Smith might have become overly enthu­si­as­tic about provid­ing surfaces to put things on, because in an unused corner of the bath­room they just placed a big wooden box as a corner ta­ble for you to put large things on. It does­n’t get in the way of anybody so over­all I think it’s a pretty good addi­tion. Some other nice features of this bath­room include wooden doors and nicely finished metal walls and supports on the stalls.

Cons of this place would be the massive amount of under­grads that will go here during pass­ing peri­ods, since Smith has a couple decen­t-sized lecture halls. There’s also no windows, so that means lots of arti­fi­cial light and pretty bad air circu­la­tion. So most of the prob­lems asso­ci­ated with this bath­room is going to be densi­ty-based. Avoid pass­ing peri­ods and you should be fine.



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