Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Burrowes Wandering

Tuesdays are caffeine days. It became this way six weeks ago with the first Monday Night Elements Gathering that I helped make happen. Lots of conversations, a bit overwhelmed: Dana doesn't go to sleep right away. Tuesdays are the days I drag myself out of bed in a fog, use two earl grey tea bags in a very large mug of hot water, and complain in slurred speech to my co-worker Dave about the heat/cold and the repetitiveness that are excel sheets. This is what happens when I can't sleep till well past midnight but have to get up at 7:30 anyway.

I'm finding ways to make Tuesdays bearable. Two weeks ago, LaVerne (boss and editor for Hemingway Letters) took us on a mandatory jaunt to MacKinnons for Starbucks coffee. It helped. Last week I played upbeat music and listened to sermons. This week, I took what LaVerne calls the "Scholar Walking Break". My hands were cold though (no heat inside, no heat outside), so I stayed indoors and wandered Burrowes Building with a book in hand.

Reading while walking gives a unique perspective. I got to watch people and offices out of the corner of my eye. I look up every half sentence to see where I am about to step. And in Burrowes, that is important because the stairs are a labyrinth.

Today was the first time I've been above the second floor. I've never been required to. I don't think I realized that there were floors above the level I can see when I enter the second floor from the main hallway. My professor visits were always in the basement or somewhere close by. Never the 3rd of 4th floors. It is a different world up there. The smaller departments are housed in high up corners of the building. First observation: lots of languages being spoken. Grad students, professors, and students are conversing not in English. And the way the offices are decorated are a lot less "I am attempting to look like a studious English major" and more like "I travel a lot and that's really cool." There is also a feel that fewer people end up in those hallways if they don't live there, making conversation in hallways and through open office doors more feasible and comfortable. Down in the lower levels I frequent, doors are shut to keep students from constantly stopping in with the question "Do you know where Professor so-and-so's office is?" And no one marks the fliers departmental grad student jokes with black sharpie.

I'm thinking I've found a consistent way to survive Tuesday mornings.

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