We students don’t take the time to truly appreciate IMSA’s incredible architecture. The rounded corners, the stately columns of the staircases, and the ubiquitous classroom dividers don’t get the love they deserve. Because of these unfortunate circumstances, I started a project to catalog IMSA’s design by visiting every room in the building, taking pictures and writing notes along the way.
One day, as I was walking past the math study area, I saw a mysterious door I’d never noticed before. Curious, I approached and found it to be unlocked, much to my surprise. The only indication of what the door led to was a sign, labeled “A000.” I figured that since I only had five minutes before 20th cent started, I could take a few photos and be on my way. I walked in and shut the door behind me, not wanting to alert anyone to my snooping around. Interestingly enough, I saw what looked to be a regular, albeit dark IMSA hallway leading towards a light in the distance. I walked down the hallway, which stretched on for much longer than I expected, until I came upon the source of the light—a massive opening.
Open-ceiling classrooms stretched as far as the eye could see, and I took some pictures of the breathtaking view. I thought I would text them to my friends, but it seemed that my phone didn’t have any reception. “Oh well, I guess AirIMSA is down again,” I said as I went to explore the hallways. I saw hundreds of posters for language and math classes, ranging from “Combien d’Uranium-235 pouvez-vous manger en une seule séance?” to “‘I Have no Mouth, and I Must Scream’ Desmos art.” I also saw tall chairs and tables scattered around, but no one was there. This place must have been abandoned, which was such a shame. So many great classrooms no one was using. I supposed I should probably head back before I missed 20th cent, and started walking back to where I arrived from when a sudden noise surprised me.
In the distance, it seemed to hear someone teaching a math class but that was utterly impossible. If there was no one here, who would they be teaching to? And, who would give them their paycheck? The absurdity of the whole situation started dawning on me, and I walked, then sprinted back to the hallway. The noise of math instruction got closer, and I heard familiar shouts of “Don’t forget about plus C!” and “Well, what if you looked at it this way?” I ran down the hallway, and saw a tall, slender creature holding a graded problem set chasing after me, rapidly gaining ground as I approached the door. I threw the door open only to find that it led to what appeared to be a res hall. I’d rather take my chances with extended cleaning and room invasions than have to face the math creature, so I slammed the door shut and went in.
According to a sign on the wall, I was in hall 150000000000004 C wing. I walked into a room to find it empty just like the previous place had been, the windows looking out at even more res halls, with the sky replaced by the same IMSA ceiling. I stayed here for months on end, living off of the rats in the walls and Lexington oranges that mysteriously appeared in the fridge, allowing me to stave off scurvy. The only creatures I encountered were strange RCs, too fatigued to cause any harm, only coming out every night for “check.”
My skin had turned ghastly pale from no sun exposure, my eyes becoming acquainted with the dim lights of the halls. I finally developed a plan to escape by ripping railings out of the stairwells, which was surprisingly easy to do, and building a rudimentary ladder. Once it was complete, I went to kick out the window screen, but it miraculously fell out by itself, and I climbed onto the roof, leaning my ladder against a dislodged tile in the ceiling. I climbed through to finally escape the building, but all I found was a never-ending IMSA gym full of sentient dodgeballs that attacked me to no end, yoga classes that went on forever, and voices that kept asking me to see how much I could bench.
At this point, I accepted defeat. I would spend the rest of my miserable life here, and every escape attempt only dragged me deeper into the IMSA backrooms. What was the point? Just as all hope seemed lost, I decided to join a yoga class.
For the next few days, I did nothing but yoga, finally developing the inner strength and resolve to escape from the backrooms. From the exercise bands I found on the floor, I built a massive catapult to launch myself out, and I was able to use the weights from one of the many fitness centers to test it. Once it was ready, though, nothing seemed to work at launching it, not even my own body strength that allowed me to bench an impressive 20 lbs. I had one last trick up my sleeve, though.
I returned to my room in 150000000000004 C wing, and I found the door that I escaped the original hallway from. I found a piece of paper and a pencil laying around in the hallway and wrote up some rudimentary math problems. Finally, I shouted down the hallway, “I’m not going to show my work for problem 3!” The same creature from earlier appeared and furiously chased me from the hallway all the way back to the gym, where I had loaded myself into the catapult and held out my “problem set.” The creature grabbed onto the paper and pulled me as far back as the catapult could go. Just as I heard the resistance bands beginning to strain, I let go of the paper, and was sent flying toward the ceiling at a tremendous speed.
I crashed through the ceiling and strangely fell onto the ground, turning around to see the same place where the A000 door was when I entered it, yet there was only the wall. I looked at myself in the mirror to see that I was the same poorly-dressed junior as when I entered. Suddenly, I remembered my 20th cent presentation! I rushed back to the classroom as fast as I could, and Dr. Cross was very cross with me. I had really crossed the line this time.
“You’re five minutes late, Stephen, and you still need to give your presentation about how The Flying Nun impacted International Posadist thought of the 1960’s. Chop chop!” Darn! I had another attendance point to add to the pile and I’d forgotten about my most important presentation! I finally escaped the backrooms—but at what cost?