Features  Published 11/13/10 10:00am

"Real World: Van Pelt," or "How I Spent An Entire Day In The Library"


Math midterm: November 17th at 11:00 in the morning. I can deal with that. Stat midterm: November 17th at 6:00 in the evening. Shit. Two midterms in my two hardest classes on the same day? Well, I guess there's only one solution to this problem: Lock myself in Van Pelt for 24 hours. Yes. Not 12 hours. Not even 17. One full day.

8:50 p.m. – Pack my backpack full of food and textbooks. Depart. Silently cry on the way over about how miserable the next 24 hours are going to be.

9:01 p.m. – Arrive at Van Pelt. Set up camp on the fifth floor. Backpack so stuffed that cans of Red Bull fly out and roll across the room. Let the Facebook-Chatting commence.


9:17 p.m. – Actually start studying. One of the girls sitting at table near me farts. Dirty looks ensue.

10:45 p.m. – Whip out my jar of peanut butter and start taking some much-needed spoonfuls. People stare. They're jealous they didn't think to bring PB to VP.

11:25 p.m. – First study break of the night. I browse the music library on the fourth floor. (It's really a great collection.) Bored, I pretend I'm in a horror movie that takes place in a haunted library and run through the stacks in a frenzy. I throw in some screams for added effect.

11:55 p.m. – Security guard: "Ain't y'all heard me? GET OFF THIS FLOOR NOW! It's closed." Move into Rosenparty. It's going to be a long night.

1:23 a.m. – The douches in the GSR behind me decided to shut their yaps long enough for ya boy to solve a homework problem. This is a library, everyone. If you're laughing, you're doing it wrong.

3:14 a.m. – Person sitting across from me finally leaves. Upgrade! Finally able to stare into the space in front of me without having that kid think I'm looking at him. Math stops making sense and I use a textbook as a pillow so I can doze off.

6:42 a.m. – I see the sunrise for the first time in months! What a glorious sight! I witness the beauty of nature/philosophize about the meaning of life/start my stat homework.

10:35 a.m. – Realize it's actually Friday, wonder why Mark's Café doesn't sell Four Loko.

10:39 a.m. – Get the day's DP and quickly flip to the back pages. Realize the crossword is way too hard for me and throw it out. (Isn't this what everyone does with the DP?)

2:15 p.m. – Muscles begin to atrophy so I move to the 4th floor study lounge, leaving behind Pop Tart crumbs and a permanent impression of my butt on the chair.

3:13 p.m. – Creepy old man with a staring problem forces me to resettle in Rosengarten. Kid across from me picks his nose with intense concentration, leaving boogers and bad karma at his workstation.

4:27 p.m. – Wake up from an unplanned nap and promptly take another study break to watch Spice World. Still got love for mah main gurlfrand Sporty Spice.

4:37 p.m. – Obnoxious mom does a drive-by with her screaming babies in tow, interrupts my movie-viewing experience. This comes to mind.

5:50 p.m. – THERE'S A BOMB ON THE BUS, Baby Spice and Co. scream, the concert goes on, Girl Power, etc. I return to studying.

6:24 p.m. – Bizarro alarm goes off in Rosengarten and everyone around me starts looking around and going "What!? What!? WHAT!?" and giggling. The shit you gotta put up with in a library.

7:50 p.m. – I begin a "Who can read a page in a textbook faster?" competition with the girl sitting near me. I don't know if she is aware that she's playing (which is a good thing, because she's losing by a lot).

9:12 p.m. – So, after 24 hours, what have I learned? Other than the fact that libr4riez ar3 s0 k3wl, I realized that to get work done in college, you shouldn't use a computer (unless it's absolutely necessary), you need to develop a high tolerance for others' bullshit, and you must always (!) remember that sometimes there are better things to do with your time than study. Which is why, typing this in a half-unconscious daze as my stomach growls for substantial food, I'm getting excited to leave the confines of Van Pelt and enter back into the real world. Happy weekend!

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