Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Pavillon Principal

The meeting that I'm up here for has been held in the Pavillon Principal of the University of Montreal. Oh, excuse me, the Université de Montréal. Anyway, the Pavillon (shown above) is this monstrous building. My theory is they decided that students shouldn't have to go outside during the winter, so they'd put all the classes in one building. Of course, these things never work, so there are other buildings, but the great mass of the university is in this one. Of course, that's just a theory I have.

There are many weird things about this building.

  • As you enter from the Metro, you have to travel up to the building. You do so via a moving ramp. Like an escalator, but without the stairs. You know, so if you fall, you keep tumbling to the bottom. I'm amazed they're able to get away with this. Their lawyers must not be as good as American lawyers. Especially with college students around, that seems like the type of thing that gets turned into a ride.
  • As noted above, the corridors are labeled A-Z. Except O, Q and W. I don't know why those letters got left out.
  • I wish there were a 3-dimensional model of the place available, but not all the corridors go on all the levels, and some are blocked off, so it's difficult to get around.
  • The rooms aren't numbered; the doors are. So E-315 and E-325 might lead to the same room. Which can be annoying, I suppose, if you have a class in room E-315, because on the first day nobody will use door E-325, because nobody will know where that goes. Somebody suggested to me that it's so they don't have to renumber the doors if they reconfigure the space the doors lead to. I don't know what sort of university prides itself on not having to renumber its doors, but maybe this one does.
  • In one of the rooms where talks were held, the talks would be interrupted periodically by the distinctive sounds of birds chirping. Loudly.

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