Turkey time, library time: Happy Thanksgiving, WU
Oh, yeah! It’s that time of the year. Christmas ads start to taunt you through the television screen. Hanukkah ads don’t exist. Nor do those for anything else really. The generic “Happy Holidays” reigns supreme. Turkeys start gobbling knowing that their short and fairly meaningless lives are going to end in the culmination of their entire purpose: to feed an entire nation on one day. Poor, poor turkeys.
Luckily for you, the rest of this article will not be adding to your holiday cheer. This is a more ominous look at the wondrous holiday that is our Thanksgiving. Rather, this is an introspective look at the madness that ensues prior to our departure for Thanksgiving break. On top of the irony of celebrating a holiday in which we spread horrible diseases to the native population and stole their food, which they taught us to grow, there is still more to learn about the dark side of the onset of the holiday season.
Problem number one: The most important and all-consuming spectacle of Olin Library. Over the normal course of the semester, Olin is a quiet refuge for timely and efficient study. But hell hath no fury like the last two weeks of a semester at Wash. U., and the library becomes a black hole of soul-sucking depression. The blank faces of student zombies wandering the B-stacks in search of scholarly sustenance are enough evidence to bring in the Ghostbusters. Someone revive us!
If I could be so bold as to suggest that a student would prefer not to spend every waking moment either in class, slaving over a paper or studying for an exam, would I be venturing too far? Caffeine-infused binges and furious attempts to finish projects leave us rattled and crying for the days of pre-school. How I yearn for block-building, naptime and a refreshing glass of apple juice.
It has gotten to the point, at least for me, where the library has become the antithesis of productivity. It is incredibly difficult for me to enter the library and set myself to work, solely because the environment is near poisonous. There has been no change of scenery at all, and I suspect this applies to a few others as well. The reason I say this is because at this time of the year, there are so many people crammed into cubicles that the Internet crashes. Screw library bandwidth. What about our mental bandwidth?
Granted, I am bloviating and spewing hyperbole all over the place like Mount Vesuvius, but I needed to fill a column with something in the midst of my scholastic marathon that will hopefully culminate prior to the break. Why not rant and rave like a lunatic if you don’t know what else to write about? Perhaps it is a waste of your time and of ink and paper. Perhaps it irritates you. Such are the petty inconsistencies in life. One day you’re curled up in the fetal position after writing 30 pages of papers; the next you’re feasting on cranberry sauce and turkey legs. Are those parallel? Not really. One could argue that they are both feasts—one literal, one scholarly—but who cares? Inevitably you will partake in both. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Charlie is a sophomore in Arts & Sciences. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.