What’s in your locker?

by Emily Beiser

Equality is a Quaker testimony, but at GFS, we have inequality in the assignment of lockers. Why should some people have bigger lockers than others?

It’s Monday. A student comes in to school and opens up their locker. It’s about a foot and a half wide cube. He moves books around from his backpack to his locker and puts his coat in. He jams his sports bag in too. Then he attempts to put his squash racquet in his locker, but sighs as it is too long for the locker, and brings it into his homeroom.

Downstairs, a girl opens her four-foot tall, eight inch wide locker and hangs up her coat. A door above her head opens to a compartment of a one foot wide cube. She stashes her unnecessary books and hangs her squash racket next to her coat. She attempts to put her sports bag in the locker too, but the locker is too thin, and she sighs as she brings it into her homeroom.

Examining these two dilemmas of the lockers: Too thin and too short, I wonder: Which locker is better? In the tall thin lockers, like this girl has, she can easily fit her coat in her locker and access her books at the same time, while in the square locker like the boy has, he has to remove his coat if he wants to access his books again. In the tall lockers, there is also space for sports equipment, like a squash racket or a field hockey stick.

The square lockers do have their advantages. The boy can fit his sports bag in his locker, if he squashes it in, but the girl’s locker is too thin. He can also fit larger items, like a box of cupcakes or a soccer ball. But how often do you bring that in? And why leave cupcakes in your locker?

Examining the real estate of the two lockers, the tall, thin lockers seem to have more space, with 10,101 cubic inches, while the square lockers have 3,712.5 cubic inches. In theory, the tall thin lockers have more space to store things, and are better overall. Plus, they’re way bigger.

It’s time for sports. Two girls go into the locker room. They both open their lockers- one has a full locker, while the other has a half-locker. The girl with the half-locker pulls open the door and a pair of shorts and a basketball shoe fall out. She dumps her stuff on the bench, and changes. When she’s done, she puts her school clothes,(including the nice shirt she had to wear for an orchestra concert that day) sneakers, her coat and her lunch bag in a heap in the locker, and slams it closed before it all falls on her. She leaves her backpack on the floor outside the locker, and runs downstairs, before remembering her water bottle. She runs back up, opens her locker. Her coat falls on the floor, and she moves it to the side. She removes her clothing, (her shirt is wrinkled) sneakers and lunch box from the heap they make in the locker, and finds her water bottle in the bottom. She sets it on the bench and begins to stuff everything back in. Finally, she slams the locker closed and locks it, and leaves the locker room.

Meanwhile, the girl with the full-length locker unlocks and opens the door. She changes and hangs her clothes and coat up on the hooks. Her boots go on the floor of the locker, and her lunch box and cell phone go on the shelf. She can’t fit her backpack either, but she sticks it under the bench. She locks her locker and begins to go downstairs, when she realizes she forgot her water bottle. She goes back to her locker and opens it up. Her water bottle is on the shelf, next to her lunch bag. Her shirt isn’t wrinkled, and she can probably get away with not having to wash and iron it before the next concert. She grabs her water bottle, closes the locker, and goes downstairs.

We all know who the winner is here. The girl with the full length locker is clearly at an advantage. Her clothes stay neat, her stuff doesn’t go everywhere when she opens her locker, and she can get ready much faster than the other girl. It seems like there are plenty of lockers in the locker room. Why do we have small ones? In fifth grade, we were told we had small gym lockers because the older students had bags and more stuff. It seems like we have plenty of lockers, and lots of people don’t use or even know they have lockers assigned to them. Why should they have lockers that somebody who uses their locker wishes they had? And how is it practicing equality to have such different facilities for different people?