Sunday, April 03, 2011

on the subject of my school library, and, a to-do list

This is a terrible place to spend time. I'm sitting at a tiny wooden desk with a divider in the middle, industrial grey-brown metal bookshelves to my left, ugly white-painted crinkly brick wall to my right; the wall is interrupted by a large square window which looks out onto the roof. I'm eating a turkey-swiss-cucumber-sandwich with an apple and folk are eyeing me disdainfully. Perhaps in a sunnier atmosphere, people would have sunnier dispositions?

Screw them. I'm going to enjoy my pistachio cookies from Trader Joe's now.

It drives me crazy to think about how beautiful the library at Ohio State was. When I went to visit about this time last year, I toured the facility and was incredibly impressed; this, I thought, is what a library is supposed to look like! It was re-built very recently, naturally. The top floor is walled almost entirely of windows, with squishy armchairs and small tables scattered about--an English grad student's dream. Imagine my dismay when I visited Iowa a week afterward and walked into the dreary grey-brown interior, poorly lit and oppressive. I didn't even make it up from the first floor; I just had to escape.

The utter despair that this library inspires generally rules it out as an option for camping out to work on term papers. However, the truth is that here in Iowa City, there aren't all that many go-to places for this purpose. My favorite coffeehouse closes at 7pm; my second favorite has shoddy Internet and vastly overpriced coffee; my third favorite has no Internet access at all. I'm very particular about the space that I occupy when working. I'm beginning to wonder if the best spot might be my own apartment, intensely cleaned and better organized. I need to fix my printer and purchase a coffeemaker. I despise these logistical issues, because I have such a difficult time venturing back and forth between the logistical and the purely academic; in other words, it is hard for me to segue-way from picking up a new USB cord for my printer, dropping my laptop off to be fixed, into reading an article on the use of narrative with regards to history.

I need to:
-harass the Benefits office about my mysterious lack of health insurance
-get a new USB cord for my printer
-drop my big computer off at ITS to get the hard drive backed up/fixed
-drop my little laptop off and get the keyboard fixed
-vacuum the living room
-Swiffer the kitchen floor
-clear off the armchair/futon
-organize my desk
-put away winter clothes, summer clothes
-take clothes and donations to Second Act/Salvation Army
-take recycling
-take books to Haunted Bookshop
-either sign my lease or make my excuse about still looking
-buy new shampoo and conditioner at Walgreen's

and, of course, do my schoolwork!