Sunday, November 13, 2011

Med School Memories

It was the early 90's in medical school...

There was one sweltering Summer where the classroom's air conditioner was hyperactive, and we measured it at 60°F in there. It was an unpleasantly humid, high 90's °F outside.

So we'd walk to school in shorts & T-shirts, and put on sweatpants and sweatshirts before going into lecture. It was silly. We had to keep warm clothes in our lockers outside the classroom, and during lectures would slug down hot coffee, tea, and cocoa to keep warm.

We called building maintenance repeatedly to complain, without success. I remember at one point a frustrated guy actually dialed them during a lecture, and screamed "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW COLD IT IS IN HERE?" into the phone.

The next day we got to class to find they'd hung up a large wall thermometer, so we could see how cold it was (59°F).

Thanks, guys.

23 comments:

Enfermero said...

Classic. Our break room the past couple months has been hovering around 60 too. We figure it's a way our boss can ensure lunch breaks aren't too long.

Anonymous said...

wait, a frustrated guy actually dialed them during a lecture? in the classroom? with a cell phone? in early 90's? so was that a giant brick first generation cell phone?

SuFu PhD said...

I would have killed for 60 in undergrad. During fall camp for football we had our meetings in the only non-AC building on campus. There were multiple times where it was 95+ with 90% humidity both inside and outside. That makes it pretty miserable with 100 sweaty fat guys who have been on dorm food for a few days.

A Doc 2 Be said...

There were checking your eyesight :p

Elli said...

I took a physiology class in a room where the A/C would cycle down to about 64 deg. Then the heat would come on and run the room up to 75.

Homeostasis, not.

Polly said...

I worked in an office where we wound up taping file folders over the A/C vents. Worked surprisingly well....

Anonymous said...

Not a rectal thermometer?

Jessa said...

I worked among the chilled shelves at work (think cheese, yogurt, chilled ready meals, fresh pizza/soup) and would always have on a long sleeved shirt, a short sleeved uniform shirt, and jogging pants under my uniform pants. In 30 C summer weather outside. In the winter, I wore a polar fleece vest as well.

//.amanda.eleven. said...

Same thing happening at my medical school -- except instead of it being warm outside, it's freezing and we end up just wearing our winter coats and gear in class.

Amanda said...

That's how it was at my university, but our classroom was shaped like an orchestra pit. The top level of the class was normal, towards the front (where the lecturer was) was freezing. We stayed in the same class and the lecturers came to us (I think that's common in medical training), so we would end up freezing all day.

I sat in towards the front. I get cold easily anyway, but when I chose my seat, I didn't think about the heating problem and, since we stayed in the same class, all the seats except for the very back row (where I couldn't see the lecturer) were taken by the time I figured it out.

For a while, I actually brought a space heater to class and had many students congregating around my row during breaks to warm up. That's probably why I was asked to stop bringing it, so instead I would wear thermals and bring coats in the middle of summer.

Anonymous said...

You had sixty degrees? When I went to medical school we only had 50 degrees.

50? Eh, you were lucky. I went to medical school in a building with great big holes in the roof.

Eh, you were lucky to have a room. We studied in the corridor.

Oh, we used to dream of studying in a corridor! Would ha' been like a palace. We studied in an old water tank.

Well, when I say "room" it was only a hole in the ground covered by a sheet of tarpaulin, but it was a room to us.

We were evicted from our 'ole in the ground.

You try and tell the young people of today that... they won't believe you.

Kim said...

When I was in junior high school in the early 80's, one of my classrooms was freezing cold. I pretended that I had sprained my ankle and went to the nurse to get an ice pack, which we then put on the thermostat in the classroom. Warmed it up nicely!

Vivien said...

Our nursing lecture hall had no heating in winter. Which ment it stayed around 50 inside. After a while we gave up and just brought sleeping bags and doonas to lecture. The lecturers did not mind, they were the ones who suggested it. I think the heating was fixed in time for summer.

Kim said...

We didn't have central heat in my house when I was growing up, just a little stove, so I typically wore a hat and mittens to bed in the winter, and I piled about 10 blankets on top of me. I put a thermometer in my room at one point and figured out the average temperature in my bedroom that winter was 30 degrees. I really didn't like that house.

emmy said...

I work at a fortune 100 corporate headquarters. In the summer we huddle in the end staircases that aren't air conditioned. In the winter, we are all wearing coats, hats, gloves and blankets in our cubes. I don't think the building ever reaches 60 degrees all year long.

Anonymous said...

We bring afghans to class. One girl brings a space heater.

Anonymous said...

My medical school is over-air conditioned. The best was during orientation when some bureaucrat proudly told us that, in the interests of sustainability, the university never air conditions to below seventy something as we were all sitting there freezing. Tuition dollars at work.

cliffintokyo said...

Yowza! Cool (Cruel?) Joke!
Story: The female staff in my office set the stat to 27+ Celsius in the summer to comply with the energy saving policy, and to 27+ Celsius in the winter, thus using up all the elec that had been saved! (DuHH!)
Consequence: I sleep "at the wheel" for about an hour every afternoon, summer or winter!

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I'm in med school right now and we have the opposite problem - around October 15th (and despite the pleasant, mild weather outdoors), someone switched the heating on in our lecture hall and it's now like an oven in there!

I've taken to wearing clothing in layers I can gradually remove, but it still has a tendency to make me sleepy within an hour or two of classes starting!

Packer said...

Environmentally conscious , we be.

Sarah Glenn said...

When I worked for the city, our building was FREEZING during the summer. The maintenance people begged to differ. One of our people put up a thermometer and reported the temperature to Those Above. It mysteriously disappeared that evening.

Beth Morgan said...

And how many cans of diet coke does that represent? LOL!

Library-Gryffon said...

Sounds like the University of Iowa Music building when I was there. In the summer they a/c'd down to about 60, when it was close to 100 outside. In the winter practice rooms reached into the 90s when outside was maybe 10. You wore the same clothes year round in layers, the only difference was whether you were taking layers off or putting them on when you went inside.

We complained about the heat one spring because the west facing offices were reaching temps over 120 in the afternoon. The answer was that the scheduled change over from heat to a/c was May 1 (three weeks away) and they didn't have anybody to do it till then. The head of the school finally called facilities back and didn't mention the staff and students dropping like flies, but rather the millions of dollars of university equipment which was being irreparably damaged.

They come out that afternoon.

 
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