Outdoor study areas a necessity to do work in warm weather


We’ve recently had an early glimpse of the summer-to-come here in Tacoma.

Almost everyone loves the sun, so when it makes an appearance, students flock to the outdoors, sitting in front of the S.U.B., playing sports, tanning on the lawn and more.

Yes, we crave vitamin D, and we all probably suffer from some degree of seasonal affective disorder whether we realize it or not, but our time in the sun comes at a price.

This last month of school is the most academically rigorous, which is all the more grueling for the sunny weather.

Ideally, it’d be easier to work efficiently outside, but it is rarely effective.

Computer screens are hard to look at in the bright light, and their batteries drain quickly.

The biggest thing keeping Walker Bohannan, a computer science major, from doing his homework outside is that the glare on the screen makes it difficult to see, effectively making his work impossible outside.

This problem is solvable. One thing we need is a lot of outdoor power outlets.

If the geology classroom has the capacity to plug in what seems like a few hundred computers, then we can certainly take this abundance of electricity outside.

Being limited to the life of our batteries, especially with screens fully illuminated, is too limiting.

We could try to keep on working in the library, but those solar rays are just so tantalizing.

Hence, why waste time sitting in the classroom when you could be soaking up something that in Tacoma is as precious as gold?

Having class outside should become standard.

Obviously there are some classes where it is not feasible, but plenty of discussion based classes, or even lectures that don’t rely on notes on the board or PowerPoint presentations could easily be taken to another venue.

With the knowledge that we can have our cake and eat it too, that we can be outside and go to class, students will be less likely to skip class on a sunny day, according to Jack Derham, a junior.

There are a few structural changes that are necessary to make all of this happen.

Sitting on the ground is not conducive to studying because it too often leads to discomfort or naps.

In order to facilitate good academic work while outside, there should be more benches and picnic tables.

These tables would be made even better if they were accompanied by large umbrellas.

More seating options, along with many more outdoor outlets, would aid students in the constant struggle between studying and relaxing.

Rather than being forced to sacrifice study time or sun time, students would be able to enjoy both simultaneously.

As a result, overall happiness, higher work ethic and more learning would ensue.

What is better than a bunch of happy, tanned, Puget Sound scholars?