Curled up in Dana Porter


Curled up on a sofa of Dana Porter library, I read through the last few pages of the book which I had flicked off the shelves of Waterloo Reads.

I finish reading the book but with mixed emotions – a little happy because I had the experience of reading it, and a little sad because it was over.

As I looked around the library, the magnanimous arches of the windows have never ceased to amaze me. I ponder as I look outside, view chameleon-esque trees, and drum my fingers on the edges of the  table.

I take the lift to the sixth floor of the library, wondering why I didn’t  start studying sooner.

I pass rows of students who sit in little cubicles, going on about their lives. The 14×20 inches of desk space is their bubble; they co-exist next to each other, but do not touch.

They are engrossed in their own worlds, yet they impact each others’. Some are flicking through Netflix, sipping iced cappuccinos. Some are furiously typing away on their laptops, hunched over their assignments, and others have already drifted off into their own worlds.

In this conundrum of silent existence, I plop my bag onto the chair and get to work.

So  what is the library for you, is it a place for you come and get your assignments done? Do you sometimes wonder who sat in these seats before you?

What comfort do libraries give us?

They give us a space to work in our bubble until we are ready to rejoin civilization. There is a reason we come back again and again. The privilege of spending time in our little bubble, while simultaneously working amongst everyone else, is subconsciously comforting.

The sun sets in gradually, the low rise silhouette of UW is barely visible from my window. I want to leave my assignment unfinished and go home. I look around again and see another student in his own bubble, writing away in his binder.

A strange sense of determination washes over my anxious mind and I want to stay and finish it.

Somehow, his hard work inspired me to stop slacking and work more.

I fall back into my pattern; my anxious mind calms down and my heart beats in sync with the rest of the occupants of the floor.