Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Yesterday was the last day of exams and this particular exam had a written and an oral component. This class might be my worst in study habits and english ability and I didn't think very highly of them. I was unsurprised when they had trouble opening the door to the classroom; that's how slow they are. I actually showed several of them, individually, how to open the door after they were reduced to knocking and asking to be let in.

Anyway, the students had finished the written component and were waiting in another classroom and coming to see me one at a time for their oral exam. Again, I had to open the door for a few of them and I was just about to wedge some paper in the doorway so it wouldn't close all the way, when I heard a student on the other side twisting left and right and not getting anywhere.

With a quiet curse, I went to open the door to find I couldn't. The knob just floated left and right, with no feeling of moving anything inside the mechanism.

I have to give the students credit. They stayed with me -on the other side - and tried to help me get out, or the next student in. Finally, I told the students we would finish the oral exam next week if the door wouldn't open in the next five minutes. The time went by and they stayed until, thirty minutes later, I got out.

Before I told them that, I phoned my department's office and a secretary came to try to help me. She couldn't but called maintenance.

I got tired of waiting and had started working on the screws holding the bars in place over the ventilation window leading into the hallway when a professor asked me to stop and wait for assistance.

The maintenance man came and worked on the door with no luck and eventually a student and I returned to removing the bars so I could climb out and not miss my bus home.

My opinion of the students improved a great deal during my imprisonment. If they had broken the lock (accidentally), would that make my feelings an example of the Stockholm Syndrome?

The office staff were apologetic as though it might be their fault and I might be angry. I played on that a little and told them I wouldn't come to work on Wednesday (today). So, here I am at home, relaxing.

Today is Founder's day at our university; there are no classes.


PAKA said...

You actually look quite happy in that photo.

Masuro said...

I got locked in my office when I first came here. The old 'flap' for the padlock (what do you call that?) moved over and latched the ring that the padlock is supposed to go into. That happened because the wind slammed the door shut. I was in there for an hour or so before someone could come down to the library to let me out. I taped the flap to the door so it wouldn't happen again. I tried to take it off but the screws are stripped.
(Why couldn't I explain that well? My English skills are going down the drain. I will soon be like the Italian soldier in one of Dickens' stories that couldn't learn English and forgot his Italian so he eventually ended up with no language at all.)

Nathan B. said...

For some reason--I'm not entirely sure why--I consider myself an honorary "gangwon-do" blogger, and so I wanted to say something on this page, even though I have nothing particular to say.

It's quite a story, Brian!

kwandongbrian said...

Paka, I worked hard to find the humor in the situation, but i was trying for wide-eyed, open-mouthed panic in the photo. I should have given the camera to a student to get me clambering through the narrow window more than 2 metres above the ground, although that was fun, too.

Masuro, a D&D fan like yourself should know the name for the ...uh, bolt-thing that slide across the door - I don't know; It's been a long time since my D&D days.

Nathan, thanks for the visit.