Excluding church, my weekends during the semester are almost completely consumed by homework. I get up at 8 in the morning, head downtown for a McDonald’s breakfast (OJ and an Egg McMuffin) and then go straight to the local university library. I’ll generally stay in the learning commons with my laptop for 3 to 4 hours, unless it’s the weekend before a big paper is due or I have test. If I have to do research I’ll list all the books and journals I need and head up and down the many stories of the library on a veritable treasure hunt. This is exactly what I did yesterday in order to prepare for my Argument Based Research paper.
Looking for books at the library is always a very enjoyable experience, but it is tinged through and through with a healthy dose of horror. I get in a claustrophobic, creaky elevator and go up to the floor where my chosen book is supposedly located, stepping out into this impossibly quiet world. Most of the floors look the same, they’re all equally hushed, and it’s books as far as the eye can see so you really don’t know who’s up there with you. I really don’t feel at ease until I see or hear one or two other people rustling about. It’s better if there are three or more, since I’m always terrified that that if there’s only one person up there with me he is going to be an axe murderer or rapist or animal-rights activist or something horrible like that.
Or if there are only two people, I think they might be in cahoots, like they just murdered someone and hid the body in the bathroom and are the type of people not averse to doing the same to any possible witnesses.
That’s the other thing, library bathrooms. They are not dissimilar to airplane lavatories, really. They are claustrophobic, their decor reminiscent of 1970′s basements – which is never, ever a good thing – and there are always creepy, crypytic things scratched into the walls. The actual experience of relieving oneself and washing up is unsettling as well. The sound of the toilet flush is identical to the scream of a dying Ringwraith, the running water in the sink drowns out any cries for help, Bloody Mary herself could come leaping out of the mirrors at any second, and the doors are much, much too heavy. If you are ever looking for a good place to dump a corpse, seriously. Try the university library bathrooms.
Unfortunately, if it’s late morning and you find yourself in the upper reaches of the university library after you’ve had a tall glass of Mickey D’s OJ for breakfast and a strong mug of coffee for after-breakfast, you are surely doomed to use the university library bathrooms. Be aware.
The library is not all terror, however. It has beanbags and couches strewn all around in random places. There are cozy desks with ergonomic chairs next to windows overlooking the courtyard on the south wing. Large open dictionaries on pedestals contain new words ripe for the plucking (I chose ‘latudinous‘ this weekend). There is no need to fear murderers if you find a studious group of nonthreatening nerds to keep you company. And oh the triumphant feeling of finally finding an obscure text in the dusty depths of the stacks! Nothing better. Also, keep an eye out for traces of the dedicated all-nighter. Even at the beginning of the semester they are not as rare as you may think. If you’re lucky, you may spot more than one!
|Traits of the All-Nighter include : snoring, arrangement of beanbags as beds, feet sticking out from under desks, empty cans of RedBull.|
Alas, all good adventures must come to an end. After collecting all of my resources I trudged back to the creaky elevator (trying hard the whole time to not to think of horror movie trailers involving haunted elevators) and went back to the shiny learning commons to read. ‘Twas a good Saturday indeed.