Friday, October 10, 2014

Sanctuary: Reading Room

Lane Reading Room, Green Library

The reading room is large and quiet, with skylights and lamps all down its ceiling. There are eleven high, arched windows that let in the gray morning light along the north wall, and two on the east which look onto another wing of the library. If slumped at the correct angle in one of the squashy leather armchairs, you can see Hoover Tower neatly framed in one of the north windows.

It has been a long and busy week, and I can expect more of the same today and tomorrow. Fun or at least interesting busyness, but busyness all the same. It leaves one tired and wishing for an hour to eat dinner with friends and a day or two empty to square away the assignments.

Late at night I often feel despairing--not despair itself, mind--about all the stuff I have to do. If this seems hard, I ask myself, then how am I ever to do anything in life? When I'm a real person on my own, I'll have a lot more to deal with than a difficult pset.

But this is a physiological pessimism. When I'm hungry or tired I feel worse both mentally and physically. That is all. The experience of a mind emerges from the firing of neurons in a physical body; we expect this.

So now I am sitting in a squashy armchair from which I can see Hoover Tower from a northern window, and I do not know what to say. There's been plenty on which I could comment:
  • the creation of a sense of belonging in a group and the artificiality of such measures at the beginning
  • the unfamiliar ethos by which I was confused in the movie "Winter's Bone"
  • attitudes toward professors and how these differ from attitudes toward teachers in high school (and the difference between a professor and a teacher)
  • confidence and competence and the necessity of risk in a PowerPoint presentation
  • the comfort of open lines of communication
  • how I am managing my schedule and the peculiar non-impossibility of college without a laptop (mine had a serious malfunction at the very beginning of quarter; the replacement should be here soon)
  • my sense of being uncultured because Mephistopheles did not resonate with me at all
  • the things I worried about in high school that don't bother me here.

Yet I will not delve much deeper into any of those topics here, though I may feel the need to get my thoughts on some of them out at a later point. Because it is Friday and the morning light is coming in gray, and sometimes the body, and its needy component the mind, must rest.

The world is quiet here.* Have a good weekend.


*See: Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events.

1 comment:

  1. The photo used on this post is used despite copyright, and with incorrect attribution. The original is here:
    Please link to the correct source. Thanks!