Monday, January 18, 2010

Passing Time

Today I looked like a student. AK is taking another class on campus and though it's my day-off, I'm nearby housesitting and I needed to print some readings, so I followed him to class. After nearly hitting two students while trying to park (look up, guys!), we wended our way through the parking lot and onto campus proper. I left him at his building and began to make my way to the library. Dressed in a black hoodie, jeans, and Chucks with a backpack over one shoulder, I looked like everyone else around me. I bobbed and weaved through the mass of students moving from one class to another, skidding to a halt when the girl in front of me had to stop to hug a friend, jumping over a bike strapped haphazardly to a bench.

Though I'm in school and the federal government gives me student level tax breaks, I sometimes forget I'm actually a student. The residencies up in Seattle drove that point home at the start of every quarter, when I was fighting with untold thousands of other students to get coffee before a morning lecture. In London I was a little more detached from that kind of student life. I road the morning and evening train with commuters. But after dropping off my coat in a coin-operated locker, carefully placing my work for the day into a clear plastic bag (better visibility for the security guards), and flashing my pass as I walked into Humanities 1, I was part of the world of scholarship, the people who could sit seemingly motionless for hours in front of a stack of paper, only jumping up with great energy and excitement when the little green light on my desk went off.

Judging by the newly moving groups of students behind me in the reference room and the growing crowds outside, it's passing time again. Time to pack up and go.

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