Getting focused on campus
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 01:02
In one of my philosophy courses, I have begun to tackle one of the most difficult texts I’ve come across yet: Hegel’s Phenomenology Of Spirit. It is involved and thick and requires complete focus. Such a monumental undertaking has brought me to one truth about myself: My productivity is entirely contingent on where I am studying.
And let me tell you, my hunt for the perfect study spot has been an arduous one, between uncomfortable chairs and the incessant chatter of people with nothing better to do.
The snow and high winds kept me mostly indoors for the first week of my philosophical endeavor. Since my classes were nearby, the first spots I tried were the study areas in North Classroom.
But I was quick to find that they are riddled with conversation, exploding with a torrent of activity at passing periods, and have chairs that are harder than rocks.
So I ventured to try one of the more comfortable sounding lounges in the Tivoli. But these are more commonly treated as congregations for loud social circles and noisy eating competitions, all in low light and with an even worse lack of outlets.
At this point in my search, the sun began shining and the wind died down. I expanded beyond campus, trying to find solace on the patio of my favorite nearby coffee joint, The Market.
The coffee was comforting, the chairs were nice enough, and the feeling of the sun was delightful. However, it was too delightful; weather and people-watching that were to be had, along with my now-caffeinated brain.
The top contender surprised me, but has become a dedicated spot for my philosophical musing sessions when I need to be comfortable and focused: the room tucked away on the 2nd floor of Einstein’s bagels in Ninth Street Park, beside a window.
There is a constant supply of coffee and fairly low noise levels. It is located in the heart of campus so it’s always nearby, and it is full of pleasant natural light. There are lots of outlets, too.
I have lots more to go before I’m through with Hegel (or maybe it’s he that will be through with me), but I’m just glad I found Einstein’s to help me on my way; it’s amazing the difference that an environment can make.