I’m currently sitting in Columbia’s Art and Architectural Library — Avery. It’s a lovely, cavernous, old-world sort of place with grottoes of books, iron railings around the second level of shelves, and huge wooden tables with proportionately huge wooden armchairs. On days like today, when the outside temperature is in the 60s and the sun is shining, the big floor to ceiling windows illuminate the marble columns and recessed white ceiling, making it a warm and cheerful place to get some writing done.
Across the table from me at this very moment is one very STRESSED business schooler. Or maybe he’s an undergrad in economics — I don’t know, neither do I care. His book bag and coat are both on the table, intruding into my work space. He has a venti starbucks cup, which must have once contained a non-fat, extra-shot iced latte. Now all it contains is ice, which at evenly spaced intervals he feels the need to shake and tip into his mouth and then CRUNCHING on them. He has a lot of ice cubes still to go. I hope they turn the heating on soon…
In between the ice-rattling, he rotates among “spider push-ups” (this is the name my parents have given to the act of spreading out one’s fingers, holding the two hands in front of your face and then pushing them together so that the fingers tap and spring off one another… it makes a tap-tap-tap-tap-tap sound… especially when the fingernails need a good trimming), face scratching, pen chewing, head scratching, frenzied writing, watch checking and over-zealous page turning.
Oh! Oh! Oh! He just picked his nose and looked at it… now he’s resuming the writing. Back to the nose now… now the ice.. now the writing… page flipping… face scratching…
Now he’s standing, finger twitting, page tapping, sneezing (I am not gonna say gablessyou), page sorting… he hasn’t stopped moving and noise making.
I’ve decided this man shouldn’t drink coffee. Not only is he red in the face, clearly HE HAS A LOW CAFFEINE TOLERANCE… so low in fact it makes him act like he’s on crack.
Typically, when I’m working in Avery, I find it counterproductive to listen to my i-pod — it just ruins the ambiance. Except for today. Today, the ear buds are in and Stevie Ray is cranked up all the way.
This fellow has just confirmed my belief that B-Schoolers should stick to their own library. There they can crunch ice, hell, even talk on their blackberries. Once upon a time I was all for cruising for future CEOs in Uris, but I think my tablemate (did I mention we’re the only two people at the table… the other end is totally empty) has officially made me change my mind… that and the increased number of architectural students now making use of the art history study room… did I mention how very sexy architects can be? 😉