Alarm Bells Ringing

Yesterday in my cinema class, I decided to sit on the opposite side of the room to that which I usually do, just to change things up a bit this semester. Upon sitting on this side of the room and taking a look around, I noticed a few things that I had never noticed before. To be clear I have been in the same cinema class room since I started at RMIT at the beginning of last year and once a week have spent 1-2 hours in there.

I mentioned to my friend sitting next to me “I’ve never noticed that ALERT ALARM up on the wall” and she replied “oh really, I have!” I then began to wonder if they had these alarms in every room. My friend wasn’t sure of this either. After reading John Mason’s piece on ‘noticing’, I discovered that perhaps my friend’s memory of the alarm was a result of ordinary-noticing rather than of marking. It was me that reminded her that the alarm was there and plus she could see it, that is a blatant reminder.

I figured that the reason I noticed the alarm was because of my changed vantage point, but why then have I not noticed whether these alarms exist in other rooms at RMIT? Is it because I was feeling panicked that day and therefore I would be more likely to notice an alarm on the wall as it seems applicable to my emotions? Or is it just because it has never really seemed important to me to know whether there are alarms in every room?

I found reading about noticing rather trivial and confusing as it is such a banal activity that for the most part we don’t even know that we are doing it. I could attempt to notice more stimuli in a day but I can honestly say that I think I would forget to try! I will give noticing each time I walk through a doorway a go.. But can’t promise anything..