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FoS Students Visit Laundry Rooms to Study Entropy

When asked to justify the excursion, the FoS Professor replied, “Other than a senior’s capstone notes, there’s no better place to observe a system of inevitably increasing disorder.”

Sep 30, 2018

Editor's Note — This article is a contribution to The Gazelle's weekly satire column.
Entropy: the gradual decline into disorder
Last week a Foundations of Science professor took her students on a field trip to the laundry room of Residential College A2C to explain the concept of entropy. When asked to justify the excursion, the professor replied, “Other than a senior’s capstone notes, there’s no better place to observe a system of inevitably increasing disorder.”
While many students seemed confused by the explanation, they nonetheless pretended to listen, having already resigned themselves to re-learning everything from the slides posted on NYU Classes.
The lesson began with a comparison between the initial state of the system — a clean, orderly facility with 12 perfectly functional machines — to the current state: pure and utter chaos.
“In just three weeks,” explained the professor, “the communal box of lumpy detergent has been overturned, there are nine new additions to the pile of abandoned socks and three of the numbered storage bins have disappeared, despite having been zip-tied to their racks.”
As the students looked on apathetically, a resident arrived to transfer his clothes from the washing machine to the dryer. Finding the dryer above his washer still full of damp laundry, the industrious global leader dumped the stranger’s wet load into a nearby hamper, replacing it with his own. He promptly set the cycle for 60 minutes, and left.
When approached by The Gazelle afterwards, the anonymous Philosophy major eloquently justified his behavior.
“I was busy,” he said.
Such phenomena are not unique to A2C. In the past week, the Highline has seen 24 exasperated sighs and 13 petty complaints regarding laundry, with several cases escalating to shame-posting on the Room of Requirement Facebook Page. While the first week of classes saw limited degradation (most students had yet to stop living out of their suitcases), as residents began reaching the backs of their wardrobes, careless breaches of common courtesy have mounted. If this trend continues, female students will begin taking their laundry to A5A by mid-October, more than a month ahead of schedule.
The Professor, tying everything back to the lesson, lamented, “Decreasing the local entropy of a system requires the input of additional energy. The average human brain consumes about 12 Joules per second. Put it to good use and, at the very least, clean your stupid lint screen.”
After pointing to one of the several dozen “Out of Order” signs as proof that perpetual motion machines are impossible, the Professor escorted the students back to the lecture hall for a pop quiz on material never covered in class. When asked to comment on how they planned to apply the lesson in the future, the only available FoS student replied, “I’m busy.”
Only time will tell how fast the entropy of the NYU Abu Dhabi laundry will escalate. But rest assured, it will.
Ian Hoyt is a Satire Columnist. Email him at
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