Let me start by saying McKeldin Library is great for a lot of reasons. It has coffee, computers, couches, books and pretty good Internet service. However, contrary to popular belief, the library is not a quiet place to study.
McKeldin is about as quiet as a dubstep rave — which might not be far from the truth considering it was turned into a “Club McKeldin” dance party late last year. I have hours of studying to do for my art theory class, so perhaps I should start working.
If you get to the library in the afternoon, say about 3 p.m., there is nowhere to sit. One person will take up an entire bench just to Facebook stalk and use StumbleUpon. You can’t exactly sit right next to this person because that’s just awkward. So I’ll make do, sit across from a random stranger and try very nervously to avoid looking up and making eye contact with him or her by accident.
For some reason, it’s taboo in our society to make random eye contact with complete strangers. It means you’re checking them out, stalking them or judging them. For some strange reason people take serious offense to any of those three things.
It could, however, be considered a challenge to a turf war or a duel for the right to mate with females, depending on your individual mammalian species. That, on the other hand, would be totally understandable.
There are a number of people just walking around aimlessly as well. They’re probably just looking for a seat, but they still look weird all the same. It’s like that awkward moment when you’re actively looking for someone but you can’t find them, and then you’re just stuck in a limbo land of creepy, nomadic library vagabonds. They must have interesting text messages though. From the time they enter the library to the time they find a seat, they are working on that one text message, only looking up to avoid head-on collisions with people who lead similarly exciting texting lives. That must be one long text message. They’re lucky they have such important conversations to tend to. Otherwise, they’d just look silly.
I can’t help but overhear all the conversations going on around me. They’re kind of loud, so it’s not my fault I blatantly invaded their privacy when I should’ve been focused on my own work. Sorority Sue seems to be having problems with this really cute guy who she’s not quite sure likes her back. But they did hook up once, so now it’s kind of complicated. I’m so glad I’m in high school … oh, wait.
That— along with the French conversation the next table over and the chemistry lecture at the whiteboard across the room — is teaching me a lot about the world that I didn’t know before. I have, however, completely failed to learn whatever it was I sat down to study in the first place.
Cooper D’Anton is a freshman government and politics major and student blogger for The Diamondback