Wanted: Chalk, Dead or Alive

Bid adieu to chalkboards and chalk for they have been booted.

Center for the Sciences at Pierce College has stopped using chalkboards because some believe that the dust ruins the electronics the classrooms are equipped with according to chalks advocate John Zayac, assistant professor of geology.

So we sat down with him to find out why he is reluctant to let go of chalk.

Q: Why are you such an advocate for chalk?

A: When you use chalk the dust is what is produced so there is nothing to throw in the trash and when you use whiteboard markers they are the same size they were from the beginning.

Q: Why is chalk being used less?

A: The people who are pro whiteboards are arguing that chalk ruins the electronics.

Q: Isn’t chalk dust bad to breathe in; couldn’t that be another reason to stop using chalk?

A: Markers are bad for the instructors, the fact that all the maker pens are solvents the instructors have to breathe. The solvent goes into the air. They basically take a bunch of pigment and put it inside the solvent and when you write the solvent evaporates and the pigment sticks to the board.

Q: Are you 100 percent against using markers?

A: I just think that using chalk is more environmentally sound then using whiteboard pens.

Q: Mostly all classrooms are equipped with whiteboards now, what is your reaction?

A: Well this is the first semester we’ve had whiteboards, that’s how everyone found out I hated whiteboards. Unlike me, there are many people who like using whiteboards, that they even use it to produce artwork. Take a look at them over on https://writeyboards.com/blogs/blog/whiteboard-art-october

Q: Well what now? Since chalk isn’t allowed in the CFS building what can be done?

A: What we are doing now in this building since administration said no chalk at all; we want to use SMART boards.

Q: What are SMART boards?

A: The SMART board is basically a projector on a whiteboard but everything is digital, there is no ink at all. So if they let us have SMART boards it will actually replace the debate we have against chalk and whiteboards. We have one in 92033.

Q: Don’t you already have PowerPoint though?

A: Well right now we have PowerPoint in one corner and the whiteboard in the other and constantly have to go back and forth between them.

Q: Do you think chalk could solve all of this?

A: I just think chalk is more environmentally sound then pens but SMART boards could be a good compromise between the two for me.

Assistant Professor of Geology John Zayac embraces chalk over markers in his classroom. (Rick Ramirez/ Roundup)