Remember when my blog was about life as an ex-pat in Singapore? Oops...
Now it's about being on a college campus. I am currently writing (trying to write?) a paper in the stacks of the UPenn library. There are a few things striking about the experience.
The smell of the stacks is so stuck in my brain. At Michigan I used to study in the stacks. Since I spent so much time in the Judaic section (I think it was on the fourth level in the back, but it's been about ten years...), I saw that there were desks, and it was quiet, so I started studying there on a regular basis - not only Jewish stuff. The smell meant hot heaters, cold outside, lots of books, and way too much work to do. I remember being there really late at night, and I remember running up and down the stairs for some reason.
When I enter the stacks at the Penn library, they smell exactly the same, and it seems to have the same books, and the same study desks! So I sit here trying to write a paper about HR at HP and what that might mean for the world...Why not?
The other thing that is striking to me is that the last time I spent a lot of time in the stacks (other than last week) was such a different technological world. I didn't have a laptop - I was lucky to have a computer! There was barely internet - or at least I wasn't really using it. We still registered for classes over the phone. Now I sit at a desk from 1963 with my macbook plugged into the little fluorescent lamp, and I have wifi. It's just a totally different world.
I bet in 1997 and 1999 I got more done, because I wasn't able to check my email every hour...or blog...instead of WRITING MY PAPER!!!