Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York
The elevator tends to speed up. Some of the students gasp and look at each other.
There is no need to panic. We are not plunging to our death. I remain stoic and attempt to look calm while my eyes search for an ‘Emergency’ button on elevator dashboard; just in case. I see something that has an icon of a bell on it. Apparently this is simply an alarm to be used if the elevator is stuck between floors.
I am positive, if the elevator ever malfunctioned, there are emergency brakes that would kick out to grab the side-rails and stop the elevator. I know this because I saw it on a “Modern Marvels” television segment.
The look of concern on some of the student’s faces molds towards fear. Some of them look to the grey haired old man for reassurance, if not courage. I attempt to give them some as I move my hands upward with my palms downward as if to say “Stay calm, be strong, remain silent.”
Is the elevator accelerating or is this simply a new steady speed that was programmed into the elevator software? I know from past employment that a technician can dial into an elevator and look at various aspects and elements of operation. There is even a log of usage and anomalies that is kept for reference. In fact, the elevator technician may have reprogrammed the speed of this elevator while we were in the classroom.
The students remain calm for the most part. They have weathered their fear, I believe, due to me. I hope that I also appear calm – – – for the most part.
TOMORROW: 12th Floor