Sunday, March 28, 2010

Through the Looking Ass

Location: First Floor ECJ

Facilities: 2 Toilets (1 handicap), 3 Urinals, 3 Sinks, Soap and Paper Towels

So I'll explain the title of this post soon, but first I want to talk about this bathroom's location. This isn't really one of those convenient bathrooms you use on your way to somewhere. This is one of those bathrooms you use because you have a class on the first floor of ECJ and there is not other bathroom on that floor. It is placed in the corner of the building essentially near the end of a dead end hall. This is a problem if, like me, you find yourself studying or doing homework near or in the engineering library because your only option is to walk all the way around the horseshoe that is the first floor to use the facilities. Its a little inconvenient. And if you've never been to this bathroom you may never go because there is no sign to alert you that its all the way down the hall.

On to the bathroom itself: The first thing you'll notice when you walk in is the dizzying chessboard tile pattern that coats the floor and half the walls. It always makes me think of Alice in Wonderland. Jesse, my stalwart companion, says it gives him vertigo every time he walks in. Once you get past that the setup is pretty standard except for the one urinal set away from the other urinals, presumably because it is unclean. Because it is so close to a large auditorium classroom it also gets a lot of traffic, which means it smells like a sweaty man.

If you're in a time crunch or its not a class day you can give this bathroom a try. Otherwise, take the time to head upstairs to any of the other bathrooms in the building. I give it 2 flushes out of 5.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Squats in the Gym

Location: Gregory Gym First Floor

Utilities: 2 sinks, 1 stall, 1 urinal, soap dispensers, paper towels (automatic)

Often times after eating a hearty meal at Jester City Limits, I'll need to use the facilities. Unfortunately the closest bathroom to JCL, first floor Jester by the Wendy's, is horrifyingly disgusting. So for a while I've been searching for a good alternative in the area. One day, my traveling companion Jesse recommended the bathroom in Gregory, not the locker room bathroom but another one closer to the entrance.

After having used this bathroom several times, my feelings are still very mixed about it. I love its proximity to JCL, and because I'm usually headed in that direction anyway, its never an out of the way trip. The location is easy to get to as it can be found almost immediately to your left upon entry (you don't even have to swipe in). But at the same time, its sort of tucked away from the public eye, so it isn't used as heavily. Its usually fairly clean, and the smell is fine.

Unfortunately, it is a tiny bathroom, and while it doesn't get much in the way of traffic, even just one other person can destroy what would otherwise be a pleasant pooping experience. At least half the time I try to use it there's someone else already there. For this single flaw I have to knock down what would otherwise be a perfect bathroom to three flushes out of five. I guess the search for a good Jester alternative continues.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Business School Assumptions Shattered

Location: McCombs School of Business (CBA) Second Floor

Utilities: 3 sinks, 4 urinals, 4 stalls, soap dispensers, paper towels

I'm going to be honest: As an engineering student I have a pretty set idea of what business students are like. They're all lazy, dirty frat boys and sorority girls. And when I took microeconomics last semester, it seemed to support this theory (well maybe not the lazy part). But after visiting a bathroom in the heart of the business school I may have to change my opinion.

I entered the building from the glass doors on the east side from Speedway. I located a map of the building and found a pair of unisex bathrooms I thought I'd try. Unfortunately both were in use. This next part was my own fault because instead of going back to the map I decided to wander around the building looking for another restroom. After too much time, and some directions from a friendly faculty member, I found one further down a hall to the left of where I had entered, and boy am I glad I did.

This bathroom was immaculate. The layout was simple. The stalls were all clean. Each stall was decked out with a metal case that dispensed seat covers and toilet paper and had a little shelf for whatever. The lighting was comfortable and supported by the pleasant earthy tones of the tile on the floor.

The only thing that was unusual were the urinals. Two of the four were not separated by partitions so that you just have this pair of urinals right next to each other. I cannot imagine a situation in which I would want to stand that close to another man while I pee especially with no wall to separate us. Its not a huge problem. It just seems unusual.

Overall, I would give this bathroom 4 out of 5 flushes. Its near perfect, but the difficult location is kind of a problem.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Going Green

Location: Third Floor Biomedical Engineering Building on the West end

Utilities: 2 Stalls (one handicap), 2 Urinals, 2 Sinks, Paper Towels, Soap Dispenser

I was on my way home from Kinsolving one evening headed East on Dean Keeton on the South side of the street when I decided to pop into the glass lobby of Biomedical Engineering Building to use the restroom. I'd used this bathroom before because it was convenient for my walk home after dinner and not as heavily used as the Men's bathroom in Kinsolving itself. The bathroom is really easy to find, almost visible from the street through the glass walls of the main lobby.

I'm really a fan of this bathroom for several reasons. For one, the building is almost entirely labs, and labs mean grad students, and grad students, typically, mean clean restrooms. That's usually the case with this one.

For another thing, the tile color scheme is fantastic. It fits in with the rest of the building's decor, and uses a delightful combination of earth tones that are dark enough to hide the dirty grout in between tiles. I find it very pleasant to look at while using the facilities.

The other major plus of this bathroom is its water conservation technology. Instead of having automated stalls it offers the typical public restroom flush handle with a twist. It is immediately clear that something is different because the handles themselves are green, which according to some panels on the wall is due to the fact that it is coated in a germ fighting material. The panels on the wall also describe the other function of the handles, namely that depending on the type of waste you in the toilet you press the handle a different way. It uses less water for liquid waste than solid waste thus conserving water for those of us who like to pee sitting down. I'm a fan of this as it makes me feel like I'm relieving the environment while I relieve myself.

I highly recommend this bathroom as it is convenient, clean and environmentally friendly. It gets my first five flushes out of five.