I’ve been hanging out in Gould Hall a lot recently. This is partially because this is a sweet building that offers the three basic types of places where people like to study. These include crowded areas that have background noisy-enough-to-offer-white-noise-but-not-noisy-enough-to-be-distracting noise; libraries that are generally really quiet and have desks and comfy places to sit to crank out some reading or other work; and a computer lab where you can get technological stuff done in a not obnoxious environment quite unlike Odegaard. People actually get work done down there as opposed to playing League of Legends or Starcraft. In addition to these pro-studying accommodations there’s a coffee shop in there too. This is about as perfect as it gets for studying, but alas, the coffee shop only takes cash.
A disproportionate amount of my time in Gould is spent in the computer lab known as the Digital Commons, because I can bust out essays and readings online while listening to full album rips off Youtube (the audio on my phone became wonky very recently, so I’ve resorted to using whatever computer I’m working on). Everyone’s got their own way of studying. After 10 years of mastering the art of procrastination, I’ve figured out how to get things done before deadlines, and one of the requirements is that it has to be in very specific places outside my house devoid of distractions, one of these places being the basement of Gould Hall.
After fueling up primarily on coffee and, on rare occasions, other stimulants, I’ll delve into the concrete depths of the Digital Commons and be productive for two or three hours. But inevitably, my diuretic-aided bladder beckons me to act upon its best interests. Herein lies the problem. I’m locked into my work, and I want to get this done with as quickly as possible so that I can get immediately back to work so I don’t lose my focus and so that nobody steals my stuff. Because let’s face it, the person you ask to watch your stuff while you go pee real quick is probably the one that robs you while you’re gone.
The bathroom complementing the Digital Commons is a good facilitator of haste-making. I enjoy it very much because it’s minimally furnished with two urinals and a stall and no windows. I like it because it’s not a great bathroom at all so you want to get the hell out of there.
Which is not to say that you can’t appreciate the nuances. It’s rarely ever clean but also rarely ever dirty. It has reached equilibrium in the dirtiness spectrum and has the astonishing feature of being able to maintain this balance for extended periods of time. The basement also appears to house several faculty offices, of which the inhabitants use this restroom in harmless but typically unconventional ways, including upkeep of personal oral hygiene and a receptacle in which to soak and clean dishes, cups, and utensils. Run-ins with these faculty members are very infrequent but their presence in the basement will occasionally be let known by a lone dirty plate or cup in one of the sinks. I’ve come to appreciate these idiosyncrasies rather than scorn them as it offers much-needed respite from the never-ending onslaught of homework.