We all know that a lot of drama goes down at Wilson, but nothing exceeds the extensive turmoil that takes place behind the scenes in the teacher parking lot. In previous years, the parking lot situation was utter chaos. Finding parking spaces was a cutthroat battle between staff members. Teachers woke at the crack of dawn to secure a spot and avoid the frenzy. Arriving just a few minutes late would result in having to park… on the street! According to math teacher, Patricia Milikin, parking on the street for a couple hours “was like seven to eight bucks so by the end of the day it… would’ve been like… fifteen bucks,” which amounts to an overwhelming total of 75 dollars a week and a possible 2,700 dollars per year.
Those who weren’t subject to such outrageous prices on the street still faced atrocities within the parking lot itself. The teachers’ sweet satisfaction of finding a free spot was often replaced with bitter disappointment when it was discovered that their car had been blocked in by an unknown vehicle belonging to a coworker. Between extreme fees and the fear of being trapped, teachers were forced to choose between the lesser of two evils.
This year, a new system has been put in place to evade such obstacles. In August, teachers who drive to school asked for spots to be assigned in the lot. Teachers who have been here longer were given first priority over those who have just started working at Wilson. Although this system is a significant improvement from past years, obstacles to prevent peaceful parking still remain. Because of the lack of space, some teachers must share spots with one another. Patrick Cassidy, a history teacher at Wilson, explains how a good relationship with the person you share a spot with is vital for parking success, in his case, with science teacher Katherine Dougherty. “Ms. Dougherty and I work it out really well… that piece is a matter of just communication with your person.”
Perhaps the most aggravating interference is the arrival of pesky parents and careless college students for various evening events. From community meetings, sporting events or American University classes, the teachers’ parking lot is constantly infested with outsiders. These intruders, the owners of sensible minivans and compact sedans, negligently block in teachers who are eager to leave.
At the end of a long day, the only thing anyone wants to do is just get home. Hopefully, Wilson will continue making accommodations so that everyone has a pleasant parking experience. •