Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New [School] Year Resolutions - Part 1

1. Find a good, not-too-distracting place to study.

It's taken me this long, right? But really, this might seem easy, seeing as I live at a university--a place created for studying. Yeah, right. There is NO place on this small campus where I can study without distraction. Let me explain my options:

1) Dorm Room. Can't do it there because there are 23 other girls whom I love with all my heart and who seem far more interesting than my physics homework any moment of the day. Plus, they say things like, "Elena, I can't believe you're graduating in May!" Sigh. Don't remind me.

2) Student Union. Okay, I'm introduced as a "connections" person. That is to say, I know a solid percentage of the student body. There are always dozens of people to catch up with and SOMEHOW, they all hang out in the Union.

3) Outside. Well, on the days where it's nice enough to hang out on the grass, it's also warm enough to put you to sleep as you "read" laying out on a blanket.

4) The Library. Oh yes, this one makes me laugh. I mean, of all the places on campus, this one is specifically set aside as a quiet place for people to sequester themselves away to get work done. Yeah, except for the bibliophiles like me who can't be in a bookstore for fewer than 45 minutes.
(One incident: I went to Borders a few days before school to pick up a book for Caroline. I knew exactly the book I was supposed to get, I found it within 5 minutes, and I should have been out of there pronto especially since the grandparents were coming over for dinner that night. Hahaha. I managed to hang around for about an hour. I didn't even purchase anything besides what I came for, though I was sorely tempted.)
Just the knowledge that there are hundreds of books by Lewis, MacDonald, Dickens, Kreeft, Sartre, Dostoyevsky, etc. etc. sitting only a few feet away from me is the biggest distraction of all. There are so many times when I've gone into the library with only the books I need for my homework, spent some 2+ hours in there, and finally left with 20 books in my hands, none of which have to do with my classes. But looking at those books, smelling them, flipping through and discovering that the author was influenced by some other guy whose books are right over on the next shelf and demanding my attention as well... It's addictive. My consolation is that if I go to graduate school and become a prof myself, every so often I'll be able to take a paid year to accumulate and flip through/browse/become engrossed in books of all sorts and call it research. Or better yet-- a sabbatical. Oh, the perks of academia.

Anyway, I've ruled out the orthodox options. Unless I find a white padded cell (a suggestion for myself that I posed to my mom back in 3rd grade), I suppose I'll have to cope with/enjoy the distractions.

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