16 August, 2010

Flush Like you Mean it

I have noticed that this blog is followed by current students and alums alike. So some readers might remember the toilets at the ICLC.  Do you remember hanging out in the bathroom waiting for the toilet tank to refill so that you could have another stab at flushing because the first one didn't take?  Did you ever let the staff know that the toilets weren't working, only to be told that you should try going back and flushing like you really mean it?  I'm not trying to jinx us or anything, but hopefully before the Fall '10 group gets here, that suggestion will be a thing of the past!  Right now the builders are in.  Of the six bathrooms in the building, we have three that are fully functioning.  While some have toilets and sinks, they also have wet paint on the walls and doors so that they have to stay open, making the room somewhat less private.  Other bathrooms in the building have been completely gutted are are awaiting new and exciting things like stalls!  I have used more exclamation points than normal in writing about the new toilets, so I hope that goes some way to showing our enthusiasm for the work in progress.  This work should all be completed by the time the Fall '10 term starts in a few weeks.  Our recently retired caretaker, Fred, used to spend much of his time jury-rigging the toilets back into operable shape.  But with new toilets, we are anticipating that as long as no one gets upset writing their Shakespeare essay and tries to flush their laptop down the toilet, we should have smooth toilet sailing.
The painter is painting the skirting board in the first floor bathroom.  I can read from his body language here that he is as excited about the new bathrooms as I am!
35 Harrington Gardens is a really lovely building, the history of which Bill is capable of sending any audience to sleep with.  For example, I work in the front office which is the room closest to the front door.  Bill likes to tell visitors that when this was a private home this was the smoking room where the men would go after supper.  In my office I can hear Stage Combat students throwing each other on the floor in the Common Room above me, and in Bill's office he can hear the voice and music students practicing in classroom 1 below him.  Bill also claims that there is a poltergeist that haunts the building, which is something I'm a lot more likely to believe when I'm the last one in, locking up the building on a dark evening.  It really is a building full of character.  Built in the late 19th century, the ICLC is very much a 20th century building inside.  It has a Grade II listing which means it is an important building of more than special interest.  I believe being a listed building limits the changes that can be made to it, but I'm pleased to say it doesn't preclude installing new toilets!  Whoop!
This is Bill.  He's hard at work. (Hard at work stealing the red football off my desk and hiding it in plain sight on his desk.  Nice try, Professor Moriarty!)

We sometimes refer to the London Centre as a campus, and it is that, but I think the word campus may imply to some people a larger space than it actually is.  There are five floors which comprise the college, plus a flat above the fifth floor that is used by visiting faculty and staff from the home campus back in Ithaca.  Upon entering the building you are standing in the main entrance.  Bill, Sarah and I all have our offices on this floor.  One floor above is the Common Room, classroom 2 and the Faculty Room, not to mention one of our brand spanking new bathrooms!  On the next floor up there are 2 more classrooms, our 2 computer labs and yet another brand new bathroom.  These three floors can all be accessed from the main staircase.  To get to the next floor up you are relegated to the servant's stairs, our other staircase which spans the entire height of the building.  This top floor has 3 classrooms.  Oh yeah, and a new bathroom!  The other floor that can only be accessed from the servant's stairs is the floor on the very bottom of the building.  This is where the student kitchen and vending machines can be found, as well as the library, classroom 1 and the student pigeon holes where mail is put.  This floor also has the bathroom that is undergoing the most change.  It was probably the ICLC's least used bathroom, partly because people may not have known what to make of it.  This bathroom used to have a shower in it, but that has been removed and will be replaced by 2 toilet stalls!  Accessed from a back exit through Bill's office, there is a shared private garden behind the building where we are currently allowed to have a maximum of 4 Ithaca students in at a time.  Using the garden as a bathroom may result in Ithaca being allowed no students access to the garden, so I won't include that in my list of bathrooms.  And that's the campus!
St. Andrew- patron saint of Scotland and modesty in first floor bathrooms that are awaiting sheets of frost for the glass and which overlook hotels.  He is quite a specific saint.
 -Claire (and Elsie)


  1. As a Welsh person I feel much more comfortable in the Scottish toilet than the regular English ones! I am very pleased that Bill decided not to use the Welsh flag in the toilet. I realize this is just because of the sheer size of the Welsh flag as opposed to Bill showing me preference.

  2. We Americans get very nervous when our flags touch the ground. How would we feel as a nation if our flag were in the toilet window? What the Scottish flag has that we don't is extra opacity from large blocks of blue. I think the American flag would be an impractical window choice. This is not a suggestion to Bill to get an American flag doormat for the bathroom. Maybe we should get a Canadian flag toilet seat. (don't worry, we aren't trying to start a world war... Bill is a pacifist Canadian)