Local-Timing is key

Oscar Gutierrez, Oscar Gutierrez, and Oscar Gutierrez

Henry Ward Beecher, a liberal U.S. congregational minister once said, “Laws and institutions, like clocks, must occasionally be cleaned, wound up, and set to true time.”

It’s about time that City College, which is an important institution of higher learning, began to clean, wind up, and set its clocks to true time. It seems as if in almost every class or building, the clock is either set to the wrong time or completely broken. Why is it easier for the college to tear up a beautiful patch of grass and pave over it with asphalt, than set the clocks in classes to the correct time? Is time no longer a necessary aid to the process of higher learning?

In the modern world we are living in, the individual, especially the tech savvy college student, can access time on a multitude of devices. A student feels naked if they show up to class and realize they are without their blackberry, razor, Swiss wristwatch, i-touch, or even their notebook laptop. In this kind of environment, the wall clock begins to look obsolete. Could this explain the negligence of SBCC to keep consistent time for their students? What’s the point? It takes a lot of energy to go into each classroom, remove the clock from the wall, and tweak it to match some ideal master time. And we also have to take daylight savings into consideration. That’s a whole lot of manpower wasted on a device that no longer seems necessary.

But isn’t it necessary? Think of every major film set in an educational institution. There is always that time-honored tradition of watching the clock. In a way, that one action is what brings an entire classroom together because everyone does it. It could be argued that students should only be focused on the teacher, but we have been trained to look upward at the clock for generations.

Clocks were once as much a staple in every classroom as the black board and the American flag, but now they’ve been replaced with video projectors and no smoking signs. It seems now that the clocks around the college serve more as props than anything else. Their presence serves more of a reminder or relic of how things used to be.

I was once eating lunch in the cafeteria when I began to wonder what time it was. I scoured the entire eating hall and was shocked to find that the clock was hidden above the sandwich spot where no one could see it and it wasn’t even working.

Although it seems mundane the clock issue at SBCC reflects how students and faculty interpret time. Despite the fact the time problem seems fundamental and basic, but even the three faces of the clock tower on West campus don’t have the same times on them. Maybe everyone thinks that over time some one else will take care of it, so why bring it up? We should all be asking why is it like this and when can it be fixed? I believe that Andy Warhol said it best, “They say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”