During the last two weeks of each quarter, students flock to Green Library, presumably to study. However, according to Peter Bing, ’55, they ought to gain more from the mass migration than scholarly solidarity.
At the Bing Wing’s rededication in 1999, Bing said, “I hope this wing will always be a place where students will feel secure and where they feel they belong. And I wish that they will always come here, seeking knowledge and hoping to find a date.”
Bing was not shooting from the hip, either. Earlier in his remarks, he noted the pivotal role the library played in his personal life: “The old main library, and especially the reading room with its heavy oak tables and chairs, and its high, vaulting windows, was central to my undergraduate life. It was where we came after dinner, to do our homework, to meet with friends, and to discretely observe someone we’d like to meet, ‘quite by chance,’ when it was closing time and we all left together. For me, shy, and only able to live on campus my freshman year, the reading room…was a secure place where I could feel I belonged.”
Times have changed, however, which means that waiting until closing time is not always enough to break the ice. Thus, in the spirit of Peter Bing, here’s a Top 5 list of ways to meet your match–“quite by chance”–while hitting the books.
4. Figure out your inner animal. Apparently, I’m a proboscis monkey.
3. Ask the other person what he/she is studying. This sounds rather lame, but you’d be surprised how willing people are to share whatever knowledge they are cramming.
2. Complain together about the loud announcements the librarians make every evening, normally at 8:00pm, 8:55pm, 12;40am, and 12:55am, as if we have never heard them before. If you run out of material, you could always segue to commenting on the absurd or obnoxious behavior of one of your neighbors. Lane Reading Room, with its squeaky chairs and “high, vaulting windows,” offers ample room for opportunity.
1. The old classic: ask whoever is sitting across from you if he/she wants to get Coupa, or offer to buy the person something if he/she is too busy!