Immediately upon entering lovely Lamont library tonight, I noticed that there was an obscene number of people in everyone’s favorite 24-hour purgatory for busy students attempting to finish their papers. Every carrel on the first and second floors of the library was full, and the third floor had only a few vacancies. It’s not even finals period!
Some people were checking Facebook and doing other totally non-library things, which made me wonder: don’t you have a room? Why are you in the library? And why this library, which usually means you’re in it for the long haul?
I sort of immediately jumped to the conclusion that Lamont is sort of a place to see and be seen at Harvard. You know, you get to be that guy who’s so studious and always in the library and please don’t let him be in my section because he’ll show me up.
I immediately realized that this is messed up. Even if my assessment is wrong, the fact that the environment here is such that I might think so is messed up. I mean, in normal places the venues that make you cool are clubs, expensive restaurants, art gallery openings–you know, social places? And at Harvard we’re really such nerds that we value the carrel like it’s the red carpet?
And then I realized that that reflection showed how weird the world is. Why ISN’T being at the library more cool? What the hell is wrong with learning? And why can’t it be cool? And when are we (Harvard students, that is) going to realize that we’re all huge nerds, that’s why we’re here, and we might as well embrace it like MIT does?