Starbucks in hand; iPod on full blast, books, pens and papers ready to bust out of my backpack, I check my planner one more time, hoping the assignments I have to do will magically disappear. I head up the elevator with reluctance. I push floor 5. As I exit the elevator, the “Quiet Floor” sign is shining at me on a stand in big, bold letters. I am quite surprised that on a rainy night like tonight, hardly anyone is in the library. My shock turns into happiness and I sit down in a tiny cubicle. I set my backpack down next to me, sip some of my Starbucks, and turn off my iPod. This is the quiet floor and I don’t want to disturb anyone. In this moment, I am pretty content.
The Starbucks is starting to kick in at this point I’ve made myself pretty comfortable on the chair, using an adjacent one to lift my feet. It’s relatively quiet and all I hear are the sounds of pen clicks and people typing ferociously. That’s fine with me. I’m in library bliss, if there is such a thing. Fifteen minutes later, as I’m deep into my textbook, I hear a group of girls coming off the elevator. They head my way. No, No don’t sit near me, I secretly plead. They sit down diagonal from me. Doh!
I decide to stay there and see if their chatting about boys and makeup subsides, but it doesn’t. After 20 minutes, they are now talking about parties and the latest gossip. I glare at them, roll my eyes, slam down everything I have to make them aware that this is the quiet floor, and there is no talking, especially not at the high decibels that they are. I don’t want to leave. I want to prove a point. I wait for the silence that never comes. I make the unwanted decision to move my place. I have to uproot my comfort to another destination. I leave my place with fury. I am not happy, and I make it known. “This is the quiet floor, I scold while leaving.”
There are many other places to talk, eat, let it all out, cry, yell, do whatever you want. Just not in the library. There are 3 other floors to do that. The quiet floor is for quiet people. That’s why they go up there. That’s why they trek up flights of stairs? To get to solitude. Talk out in the Quad, let it all out at Sykes, and tell your friends of who likes whom somewhere else. Let your favorite ” dude” know your latest skateboarding trick over dinner at Lawrence, not on the quiet floors of the Library! If you do this for me, I will no longer scowl at you and I’ll get better grades too!
Brittany Kline is a third year special education major at West Chester University. She can be reached at BK632231@wcupa.edu.