From the moment that I decided that I was going to advance by higher education and attend college again, I knew that I was going to face a concurrent task that would be the bane of my academic existence – homework. Due to the fact that, out of a family of six, five of us are attending college and the sixth is a high school senior (as of this writing), I occasionally have to relocate an area outside of the house to minimize interruption. So, with my laptop computer and text books in tow, I retreat to the great sanctuary of silent study – the library.
When I get to the library, I walk toward a sign that designates an area for me (and others like me) to do my studies. The library calls this the Quiet Study Area. I cannot help but be amused by the irony of a library that apparently needs to designate an area for quiet study. Since I have already had my cathartic rant about that particular subject (an essay entitled “I Can't Hear You (I'm in a Library)”), I will not belabor that issue any further. I find an empty table and begin setting things up. Once I get my laptop computer plugged in and get comfortable in my chair, I devote a few extra minutes to what I consider to be a brief but necessary amount of lollygagging. I talk to my wife for a few minutes online and do some internet surfing. After all, a marathon runner doesn’t just start a 5 mile sprint without doing some warm ups.
It was during this time that I began observing some of the other people using the quiet study area with me. There was one interesting commonality, we were all wearing corrective eyewear. This is understandable to me. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wore goggles to play some serious basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers. It was clear that everyone in the room was preparing for some serious study (and I had already performed the proper warm up). I also noticed that the women in the room all had their hair pulled back. Quiet study is serious business where one should not be impeded by their tresses. I haven’t suffered such impedance in a long time. When my hair WAS long enough to have such an issue, I spent less time in libraries.
I also noticed some very distinct differences. One lady in the room appear somewhat matronly. She wore earrings that dangled like wind chimes to be strummed. I thought it better not to do so. This particular lady also had another distinction. She was the only one among us NOT using a computer. She was using (GASP) pen and paper. I have always admired people with legible handwriting. The last time I attempted writing anything other than my signature, I got three scholarships for pharmacy school. I also noticed another younger lady in the room. This young lady did not actually sit in her chair. She was perched upon her chair and seated more upon the heels of her feet. Her posture is almost feline in nature as if she is about to pounce upon whatever appears on her computer screen. Two more women arrive. Both, of course had their hair pulled back. However, instead of wearing eyeglasses they have sunglasses pulled atop their heads as a makeshift hair band. This is an interesting twist of the use of eye wear for function AND fashion. After all, they have no need for sunglasses in the library. Corey Hart wore his sunglasses at night but I am unsure if he wore them in the library. Should I ever meet Mr. Hart, I will be sure to ask him. It was shortly after this that two other ladies arrived (as I felt somewhat hormonally outnumbered). These two ladies were one adult and a girl about 12 years old. They are clearly rebelling against societal norms. Neither have eye wear. I did not verify the presence of contact lenses. For some reason, people are put off by that kind of behavior (once bitten, twice shy). Also, both had their hair down. I must say that I was truly taken aback by such a brazen display of anarchism.
After all this observation, I decided that it was time to get down to business and crack open the textbooks. I took one last look around and said to myself: I have three homework assignments, I have three textbooks, a laptop computer, and I’m wearing bifocals. HIT IT!