Dear Dick Resch and Brian Krenke,
Your Learn2 Seating products don’t sit well with me. Your company had one job: to make a nifty, efficient chair for lecture halls. It’s far from the cold, rigid wooden desk chairs that once plagued classrooms, feigning spinal support with those two devilish rungs that served as the back. I’ll give you that. The swivel desktop, a plastic seat that’s kind of flexible, accessory racks to hold my crap, and cup holders to keep my beverage safe—not bad. But on behalf of all students below the height of about five foot three, I’ve got some words for you.
My days as a college student are already pretty taxing with umpteen grand in loan debt, classes, homework, demanding professors, clubs, part-time jobs, and volunteer work. So, when I come to school, it would be nice to sit in a chair that cradles my hardworking behind and properly supports my sleep-deprived body to facilitate an effective form of learning. This chair promises to be remarkable with all of its practical, twenty-first-century features, but it sucks.
At first, the Learn2 chair feels like an incredible invention. “Where has this been all my life?” But after five minutes of swinging my Chuck Taylor knockoffs like a toddler in a high chair, I question my sanity. My toes touch the floor, but it stops there. My heels long to reach repose by making full contact on solid ground, but to no avail. You try spending a seventy-five-minute lecture extending and retracting, trying and failing to grow longer legs or at least find a comfortable position! If I sit up straight with good posture the way my second grade teacher taught me, my feet graze the floor, but not enough to fully support my legs. The strain on my knees only increases as the lecture slows time to a gruesome crawl. I finally slouch down to force my feet to be flat. My knees are awarded relief. But alas, my poor back has been compromised, sacrificing its proper alignment for the sake of my screaming knees.
Did it ever occur to you in your genius brainstorming sessions for this supposed paragon of a chair, that you might provide a height adjustment?
And don’t even get me started on what else you could have done if you were creating the “ultimate” school chair.
Tell me why in the world does this torturous chair have two wheels instead of four? Every single chair with wheels advertised on your website has at least four wheels. FOUR. Do you know how many classes I’ve been in where the professor is a fan of Socratic style discussions and wants the chairs in a circle? Students must reconfigure the room from the normal forward-facing rows, dragging the clunkiest chairs to grace the face of the earth to the outskirts of the room. They absolutely refuse to move. They’re a massive “screw you” to any kind of room rearrangement. Four wheels, no problem. But two? Two implies they can be tilted and rolled like a suitcase, but you forgot the handle! If I try and tilt that thing, I’ve either asked for a hernia or a crippled foot. “Mobile Arm Chair,” huh?
Let’s talk about the table or “Tablet Arm.” If you’ve got cup holders on the side of the chair, wouldn’t you consider some space to put the drink on the tabletop? Or a book and a laptop at the same time? It’s no better than an airplane tray table. Not everyone has a Macbook Air/Breeze/Waft that’s got a two inch screen and weighs -0.05 lbs. And I know you all think Millennials and Gen Z’ers can’t get enough of our technology, but not everyone uses online textbooks. For your information, a standard notebook is 8.5″ x 11″. Keeping a notebook and a textbook on the desktop at the same time? Forget it. You’ve just thrown juggling balls at a goat on a tightrope. My notebook already takes up half the desk, and then I try to add an open textbook? The dang thing slips and slides underneath my not-yet-broken-in textbook that insists on slapping shut against all odds. My pen just gives up on being noticed, jumping ship to find peace on the floor.
Add a height adjustment! It’s the least you could do for students forced to live a sedentary lifestyle. Give us a fighting chance to improve our debt-burdened generation’s trashy posture.
Five Foot Two and Fed Up
Victoria Juniet is a staff writer for Blue Muse Magazine.