Thursday, May 5, 2011

This Can't Be The First Floor.....

Our Library is a large one. It's six floors, filled with scholarly references and DVDs and VHS and newspaper and magazines and vending machines and students. It's quiet. So very quiet; yet there are tons of students there.

I spent time today on the third floor, writing a lab report for my Social Statistics Class. Quite boring, really; it consisted of correlations and cross-tabs and chi-square tests. Roughly most of the morning and part of the afternoon, I was there - the third floor of the library - writing the report.

Now, I like music. I like music a lot. You don't even know. I own a pair of Skullcandy headphones. Don't laugh; I love them. In fact, I own a couple pairs. . .but that's beside the point. These headphones are those incredibly ginormous headphones. Because I like music, and I like my music loud; I also want to share with everyone in close proximity.

Anyway, it was time for a final, so I was leaving the library. I packed up and mumbled my way over to the elevator. Pressed the "down" arrow, and I waited. Music was playing (I'm a metal-head, so, you can only imagine the noise emitting from my phones), and I was messing with my iPod (which I may refer to as pIod in the future). The elevator dinged, indicating that the elevator had stopped, and the doors rolled open. Being the only one boarding the elevator, and not having to wait for anyone to get off, I stepped on, selected "1", watched the doors closed, and turned my attention back to my iPod. I knew that the distance from the third floor to the first floor would be two "dings" from the elevator, thus, I did not think I needed to pay attention to the small, electronic rectangular box which displayed the floor as the elevator moved.

Now, imagine your school or local library; they're a naturally quiet environment with some people roaming around. Thousands of books - so many books, the possibility of reading all of them is completely unfathomable.

Now that you've got an image of your local library, imagine its lobby. There's a checkout counter, with possibly older-aged women, but sometimes teenagers. Maybe some parents with their children, who are either eager to pick out a new book, or pouting because they're bored out of their minds. There may be some couches or chairs to sit on; in schools, perhaps some tables or desks for student work. There are advertisements, possibly large windows with appealing views of the outside world. There are old people, young people, students and teachers.

So, imagine my surprise as the elevator moved the expected two floors, dinged to let me know the doors were opening, and the first thing that I see is the complete opposite of all you expect a library to be.

The floors were non-existent. The walls? What walls? With a quick survey, I could see the halfway installed insulation. Two-by-fours lay in heaps in various places; sawdust had painted the not-a-floor so heavily it was like I was staring at a desert. Men in hard hats and heavy duty boots walked about.

I stood in the doorway of the elevator, completely dumbfounded. In my mind, over the course of two hours, the lobby of the Universities library had been completely demolished and was in the process of being remodeled, with no warning whatsoever.

I came to when I barely heard a voice saying "Excuse me". A construction worker boarded the elevator as I took a step back into the little metal box, dragging a cart full of plywood behind him. It was not until I stepped back into the elevator that I took the two seconds to look at the digital rectangle above my head, which did not display the number "1", but rather, "5".

The worker pressed "3" and the doors closed. Out of respect, I turned the volume down on my iPod. After a few seconds of awkward silence as the elevator once again began to move, I decided to speak up.

"I was so confused." I started. "The doors opened and I was like, 'This can't be the first floor...'"

The man chuckled. "Yeah, we do that sometimes. Kidnap unknowing students."

"Just to confuse us, huh?"

The elevator dinged, opening the door to "3". The man began to push his cart out of the elevator. "Yeah. Just for our own amusement. Gets a bit boring around here, ya know?"

With that, the doors closed. The elevator continued; this time, paranoid, I watched to make sure the next stop was the first floor. Expecting the doors to open into a jungle, or something, I waited anxiously. . .and finally got to step out into a much familiar lobby.

I don't know what's going on up there; typically, access to the fifth and sixth floors of the College library are restricted for students. You need a key to get the elevator up there. I don't know what's going on, but I'm on to you, library. . . . .I'm on to you.

Jumpin' in puddles,

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