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Ode to the Chairs of Joyner

- By Sarah Kiser, Co-Editor-in-Chief -

What is a Joyner chair? How can one define the image and likeness of a Joyner chair? It is impossible. Every room is furnished with a different set of chairs than the other rooms on its floor; thus, every experience varies. Be it the long tables in J215, the classic wooden Sunday School apparatuses located upstairs, or the surprisingly easy-to-tip-over blue and grey desks that can be found herding in various classrooms, an experience in a Joyner desk will always be unique to each classroom. I appreciate that. It gives each classroom its own stamp. My memories from Advanced Grammar will always carry a different feel from Shakespeare, for many reasons, but also partially due to the setting.

What does a Joyner chair hold? Well, it’s a combination of things. A Joyner desk can hold one laptop, one planner, and one mug. Or it can hold one anthology, one folder, and one pen set, but never an anthology AND a laptop, unless you do an efficient stacking method that still renders typing very cumbersome. But what else can an awkward Joyner desk-chair combination hold? All of the lessons we’ve learned about life through literature, the fond memories of friendships formed, the creakings of hard-bearing pencils during in-class writings, the confidence gained by critical thinking, and challenges presented for one to make a statement with supporting evidence occurred at a Joyner desk. Perhaps also encased in these memories is the moment of inspiration for a paper, or research, or a budding idea. Sometimes these moments feel as rare as a left-handed desk, but they will always be part of the Joyner experience.

Each classroom with its identifying furniture offers a new stamp on our lives, a new fact learned, a new way of analyzing, more practice at formulating and presenting ideas, and in each classroom one will always find very uncomfortable chairs.

But, truly, at the end of the day, I’ll probably still be sitting in those chairs, same as I was in the morning, weary-eyed and citing my sources, always grateful for the lessons learned and the friendships fostered in those chairs.


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