When we first got here, the Laboratoire Parole et Langage occupied the fourth and fifth floors of a wing at La Fac (the University).
Here's James in his office in front of his super high-powered computer with gigantic monitor.
Here's the view from his office window at mid-day:
And in the afternoon:
It's a beautiful view. But what you probably didn't notice, because you were so distracted by the warm light of the setting sun and the pretty hills in the distance, is the state of the building.
It's falling apart.
Take a closer look at that second photo. See the buildings in the foreground? The tile siding is falling off everywhere. There are actually courtyards you can't go into because there's a risk of getting hit by a tile. And here's one courtyard where they've put up metal nets to catch falling tiles.
I didn't take that last one. It's part of a series of photos (multiple, unknown photographers) that was put into a powerpoint and disseminated during the recent series of strikes.
The inside of the fac isn't any better. For example, the heat didn't work in the offices. Some of the radiators, although not the one in James' office (which still didn't work) looked like this (from the same series of photos):
Wires just hang from the ceiling, next to stalactites from some unidentified leak (from that same series of photos):
I'm not even going to show you pictures of the bathrooms. No toilet seats, and no soap, no paper towels or hand dryers.
You can see some more photos here. The photos were taken between 2005 and 2009. Even the older ones are accurate reflections of what things look like.
The lab was supposed to move to the new space in September. And then in December. And then in January. And then finally, in February, the new space opened. It was officially inaugurated on May 25th.
It's really nice.
James has a desk in le open space, or "open space" area for postdocs and visiting researchers. As you can sort of tell from this picture, looking up at the back of James' head, postdocs are on a higher level than the visiting researchers (like me).
The area is sort of like an attic, but a nice, finished attic on the second floor of the building. It has a bunch of new, really nice machines at nice desks. It even has skylights (as you can make out above James in the photo) with high-tech shades within the storm window so you can get some shade when the afternoon sun is too intense.
Here's James at his new desk.
As it turns out, I too will be a postdoc in the fall. A real, full-time, paid one. Normally, this would mean that I'd get to move up to the postdoc area of le open space ... except that the only available desk up there is sort of facing James (to his right as he looks at his computer) and the lab thinks that's too close. (Too much making eyes at your workmates or something!) So instead I'll be in le open space in the other building. Pictures to follow, when I actually have a desk ... or a few months later when I post about it.