Scripps College Problem #32: Occupy Honnold

By Earnest Eleanor, Staff Satirist

As the days tick toward December, the time draws nearer—finals are coming.

The most hated time of the year, followed by the most peaceful bliss one can imagine: winter break.

Thanksgiving gives us a tease of the wonderful break after fall semester: sleeping in, eating to your heart’s content, endless amounts of television...But then it ends. All too soon, we’re dropped back in to the harsh realities of Claremont, where we return to the seemingly infinite pile of homework that had blissfully slipped our minds during the fourth Thursday in November.

When we return to Claremont, the occupation begins. Students head to the library in droves, praying for that coveted library café booth or that isolated, silent corner of the fourth floor.

Sweatpants become the norm. Groups of discouraged comrades huddle around each other for comfort, and the occasional tear of frustration is not uncommon when one enters the warzone that is now Honnold Mudd Library.

I know the sweeping sensation that runs through Claremont students during this time of year. I’m familiar with the way we all suddenly want to work in the library. It’s an unavoidable consequence of returning from Thanksgiving break with work yet to be done. So I arrived a bit earlier than I normally would to grab my customary table in the café. (It’s one of the only sturdy tables near an outlet that also faces the drink counter. Library perfection, in other words.)

When I walked into the café to scope out the seating arrangements, I was much chagrined to discover that someone had already taken the seat of library perfection. Someone was at my table. My table. It had been mine since the beginning of the semester, before all of this finals madness had infected fellow students and made people think that it was

okay to just walk in the library and take any table they want. What was I supposed to do, go to the third floor tables on the Mudd side of the library? The lamps there hardly ever work! Or would I be forced to stoop lower in my search for a library spot, setting up camp on

the second floor near the Honnold entrance? No. Not happening. I wouldn’t let my spot be taken by a member of

the library’s flocking masses. I had been here first, staked out my spot before the library had been seized by the mass frenzy of late-semester workers. I bet my library-spot-stealer was one of those bumbling library- goers who didn’t even know how to use call numbers. (There’s a MAP in the elevator, guys. USE it.)

I waited in one of the plump chairs in the café, biding my time. I knew it wouldn’t be too long until those ignorant fools vacated my table in order to go study somewhere else. They didn’t have the conviction to stake out a library spot earlier in the semester, surely they wouldn’t have the conviction to log the hours of studying (and checking facebook, and getting snacks) that came along with having a regular spot in the café.

I waited quite some time in that overstuffed library chair. I tried to make do with the spot, but my crooked highlighting and all the straining I had to do to access the outlet to plug in my computer kept reminding me of just how inferior my new spot was. All in all, it was a pretty useless study session.

Next semester, I’ll be looking into reserving my table officially. They let you reserve those puny little desks, so why not a nice café table? The library café should give us library veterans a special privilege or two, so we can avoid this end-of-semester occupation of public space that was rightfully ours.

It’s a tough life at Scripps, it really is.