The ‘sound of progress’ is heard at the NWTC campus

Editor note: Joan wrote this blog in the spring of 2017 during construction. 

A wayward thought popped into my head when I was in my Event Marketing class this semester: John Maier’s wife doesn’t snore!

Now let me explain.

Students like me who have class in the Business Information and Technology building sometimes get an earful, not from John Maier, my instructor for Event Marketing, but from the construction going on just outside our classroom door. It’s usually pretty quiet in the building, but once in a while, it gets noisy.

The construction is part of a $66.5 million referendum passed by district voters in 2015, and from my Event Marketing desk in the back row I’ve got a front-row seat to the project.

Well, not really. It just sounds like it sometimes!

All of the construction areas are blocked off behind walls and fences, but we know there’s something going on because of the noise -- and occasionally the smell.

I’m not sure what smells, but it’s not what the farmers spread on their fields. Growing up in the Luxemburg area, I know what that smells like. My dad, a high school agriculture teacher, used to call it the “smell of money.”

At NWTC, I guess I’m hearing the “sound of progress.”  When I arrived for class in January, I barely recognized the building where I attended the previous three semesters. Glass panels have replaced walls for the new classrooms on the lower level, giving them a feeling of openness, of not being boxed in. It’s been fun to look in on the classes in session.

There are places everywhere to plug in your laptop or sit with friends. For group projects, students meet in studio spaces where they can connect their laptops to a big screen. That way, everyone can see the group’s work and contribute ideas.

All of this progress occasionally makes for a noisy classroom, which is what made me think of snoring. I’ve been married for 27 years, and I know a thing or two about snoring.

So when John Maier complained about the construction noise in my Event Marketing class, I was reminded of lying awake just the night before because my dear husband was snoring. 

“Your wife doesn’t snore, does she?” I asked John. He said she didn’t, and for a split second I was envious.
“Just tune it out,” I advised him. The construction sounds don’t seem to bother us much anymore. We just close the classroom door and tune out the occasional sound of progress.

After all, I don’t think it will help to ask the construction crew to roll on its side.

Update: The “sound of progress” at NWTC is quieter now with the conclusion of the remodeling project. The fences and barriers are down, and the new learning space is completely open for students.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Koehne, of Abrams, is a 2017 graduate of NWTC. A former newspaper editor, she co-owns Writer to the Rescue, the content writing division of Packerland Websites.
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