I just purchased a memory.
For $2.25, to be exact.
I am currently sitting in the Missouri State University library. I’m on the second floor and it is so quiet, I can hear my own heart beating. I am using my Mini-Dell and it’s a bit frustrating because the keyboard is so much smaller than what I’m used to, (especially the apostrophe and quote button – WHY did they put it way down there??). But I will get used to it … eventually. I guess I won’t have a choice, considering NaNoWriMo starts this Saturday.
It’s been five years since I’ve been on this campus (I graduated in ’03) and not much has changed. It was really strange walking across campus again and pretending to belong to the rest of the crowd; the YOUNG crowd. Even when I went here, I always felt uncomfortable because I was always one of the oldest “kids” in class.
But when I walked the mile and a half from my car to the library (I had to park in the metered section, hence the $2.25 and of course, it’s not close to anything), the memories came flooding back. I was tempted to go to my old English building and see if any of my old professors were still around. It’s only been five years, but that can be a lifetime when you’re talking about college life.
The campus is full of life and sizzling with energy. I saw a group of kids being led around by the nose while their tour guide walked them around campus and talked about the various buildings, etc. In fact, I’m pretty sure I saw the whites of one kid’s eyes, he was taking it all in so fast.
I walked among all the students and secretly studied their mannerisms and various modes of dress. I suddenly felt homesick … for school. I had almost forgotten that there was an “art” to weaving in and around people when classes changed. I’m proud to say, I only bumped two people and knocked one person off balance once – not bad for a rusty dodger. *grin*
I felt like an intruder – I did not like the feeling.
I passed a dude who whipped out a mini flute out of his back pocket and began playing a catchy little tune while he walked down the sidewalk. Many students stepped out of their stupors and looked up in surprise at his audacity to express himself.
Not saying that students are a bunch of cattle, but when you’re so focused on trying to do your best and memorize everything that’s thrown at you, sometimes you simply don’t remember to join the rest of the living.
If you were ever a college student, you would understand what I mean by that.
I just tried connecting to the internet, no go. They have WiFi available, but you have to have a username and password to login and I’m too embarrassed to walk down to the front desk and ask them what hoops I need to jump through in order to get that information.
But maybe that’s okay, I’d just get distracted and wouldn’t get any work done anyway.
I’m here to work on my outline. And now I have about 2 ½ hours to work on it before my meter runs out. I only paid for three hours because it’ll be time to pick up the kids pretty soon and though I would love to stick around here all day and simply soak in the college atmosphere, the kids might not appreciate my desire to walk down memory lane.
One thing about this library? It doesn’t smell. It doesn’t have that bookish smell. It’s clean. It’s not even that dusty. If this woman sitting across from me ever leaves, I’ll take some pictures. I am sitting behind a huge column though (because it has an outlet), so I was able to take a few pictures of my table, but I’d like to take more to give you a better idea of why I LOVE THIS PLACE!
I miss college. I really do. I loved learning. I loved the people. I felt so alive and smart when I went here. And I even miss spending hours and hours in this very library frantically pounding out paper after paper that were all due at the same time and all worth about 90% of my grade in every class.
In fact, I remember one time, I spent nearly 8 full hours in this library researching and writing about a 20 page paper that was due the next day. I remember drinking gallons of coffee and staying until the wee hours of the morning hunched over my laptop while trying to figure out why a certain table was acting the way it was. It was an incredibly frustrating, yet exhilarating experience in my life. I went to college full-time while the kids were in school. I worked nights full time. I got virtually no sleep and was stressed 92% of my waking time, but MAN, I had fun.
And I really miss those days. I often jokingly ask the husband what he thought about me going back to school for my masters degree – he’ s not crazy about that idea. And okay, I’ll be honest, I’m not really joking but someday, I would love to come back, if for nothing else than to simply LEARN more stuff.
I love to learn.
Hey, that lady took off. So, here’s another picture of my setup…
Okay, back to business. I need to get started on my characters. I cut some pictures out of the JCPenney catalog last night – I thought the models were interesting looking. I need pictures of my characters because I’m a visual person and I just work better like that.
Enough playing around. I need to get started. Thanks for making the trip down memory lane with me. I plan on haunting the campus library a lot these next few weeks … or at least until I go broke from feeding the meter monsters.
Hope your day is going well!
UPDATE: I hammered out my main characters and wrote a tentative prologue and outlined the first two chapters. I don’t dare spend more time on my outline – it’ll just change anyway. In fact, I’ll be lucky if I even use what I wrote today.
I’m like the world’s most unorganized writer, EVAH!
Time to pick up the kids!