Eloise Libre | Frankly Candid
You are where you study
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 08:09
Admit it. Tufts students tend to enjoy a nice brag about how many hours they’ve been spending in the library. Often, it feels like we participate in some sick, ongoing competition, vying for the title of Most Hours Spent on Homework. But how many of those hours are spent actually focusing on school, and how many do we waste chatting away with friends, downloading music or Facebook-stalking the cutie who bought you Moe’s on Saturday night — all from the guise of a Tisch cubicle? Whatever the excuse, we spend a ridiculous amount of time in libraries and other workspaces pretending to be productive, just for the bragging rights of that “hard-worker” label. But let’s be honest — where you choose to “study” dictates exactly what you’re doing and what your motives are.
The Tisch conversation area: You tell everyone you’ve spent five straight hours locked in the library, but in reality you’ve spent five hours catching up on “Arrested Development” with intermittent chats across a table of similarly glowing laptops and trips to the Tower for some well-deserved nourishment.
The outskirts of the convo area: You operate under a slightly more productive pretense, but you still get distracted every 10 to 20 minutes by your friends and the proximity to snack foods, especially if it is any later than 9 p.m.
The inner depths of Tisch: You are fairly serious about getting work done. A table provides ample space for your spread of books, water bottles, coffee mugs and occasional eye contact with a friend. A cubicle generally attracts headphones, ongoing Gmail chats, thick reference books and other indicators of solitary confinement.
Ginn Library: Either finals season is approaching or you are buckling down on that thesis you’ve supposedly been working on. Now you really mean business, especially if you post up in that Harry Potter-esque reading room. One time, an angry Fletcher student kicked me out of there for crunching too loudly on Lucky Charms marshmallows. True story.
The Rez: This is the ultimate social scene of homework; you want cool people to witness your “studies.” If the suave hipsters don’t have proof of your work ethic, then it doesn’t exist, right? We all know that frequent occupiers of the Rez care more about their Lucy in the Chai than about that research proposal due tomorrow. Since it’s so distracting, the Rez generally attracts English, history and women’s studies majors, considering their workloads are arguably less pressing. This academic demographic subsequently accounts for the Rez’s hipster nature.
Level G of Tisch: Why anyone would ever go down here puzzles me. Better known by frequent library-goers as the G-Spot, this elusive basement lacks cell phone service and is far too sterile to concentrate on anything other than weird fantasies in the stacks. The best part about this floor might be the bathrooms. Since so few people venture down here, they are usually clean and unoccupied, allowing you to poo in peace without the pressure of other people noticing that you’ve been in there for ages (think: Tisch reading room). I do wonder, though, why the G-level restrooms need to post signs forbidding the disposal of sharp objects.
The President’s Lawn: Who are we kidding? You can hardly see your computer screen with the glare of the sun out here. Of course, we want to take full advantage of those beautiful autumn days, but we all know the Prez Lawn is not a place to get real work done. Sure, you might be able to read a few pages, but after about half an hour, you and your friends will digress to napping and/or flirting with the next person who walks a dog past you.
Eloise Libre is a senior majoring in history. She can be reached at Eloise.Libre@tufts.edu