Dear Andover Administration,
Why did you take all the beautiful, old-fashioned tables and chairs in the Freeman Room and replace them with the least comfortable, tackiest things you could find? Why have you decorated the most elegant room on campus with items from the lounge of a galactic government’s headquarters in a low-budget ’70s science fiction movie? Are these changes necessary? Are they even a little helpful in the slightest? As you were gazing upon the shelves and walls of varnished wood, was your first thought really, This will go great with cyan couches and rigid, egg-yolk-colored chairs?
Did you know that students call the Freeman Room “The Comfy Chair Room?” Did you choose the least comfy chairs you could find as a practical joke? Have we done something wrong? Is this a punishment? If we apologize and make things right, can we get the old furniture back? Was the Freeman Room cursed by a witch or warlock? Is there any kind of quest we can go on to break the spell?
Was the old furniture filled with fleas? Were you afraid of it catching on fire? Is that why the new couches feel like they’re covered in hard plastic? Is the next step in fire-proofing the library removing every book, because books are made of easily flammable paper? Is your end goal to make the entire building feel like a pop-up computer science classroom? Were you blackmailed by the swivel-chair industry? Were you conned by a charismatic yet mysterious furniture salesman? Was the Spring Clearance sale at Discount IKEA really so appealing? Did you trade all the old things for a pack of magic beans?
What’s next? Are you going to tear down the mural and replace it with a Smart TV? Are you going to take out the chandelier and install a holographic projection light instead? Are you going to remove the periodicals and put iPads on the shelves? Are you going to brick up the fireplace and cover all the walls with dry-erase boards?
Are you happy with the new furniture? Do you think the room feels homier? Or are you simply out of useful innovations? Searching desperately for tangible changes? Willing to do anything you can show off to the trustees, to parents, to prospective students at open houses, anything you can point to and say, Look! Look at our institutional agility! Look at our modernity! Doesn’t it make you just want to write a check?
David Skylar ’18
David Skylar is a Two Year Upper from the suburbs of some Northeast Coastal City.