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.