Study Etiquette: Shared spaces at Brown (that aren’t libraries)

This semester, I am taking my third visual art studio class at Brown. That means I’ve already gotten through two semesters of sharing List’s white-washed, fluorescent-lit workrooms without running into the kind of situation that I did a couple weekends ago.

It was the kind of situation where you can imagine yourself lashing out at those around you, but don’t actually, because you know it will be more fun to complain to your friends about it later, FlogDailyHerald-style.

So here it goes: I listened to a total of ten hours of K-pop (Korean pop music), all of which could be heard over the sound of my own in-ear soundtrack of sensitive girl music (admittedly there was some James Taylor in there) and the new Bombay Bicycle Club album (well, I had to make myself look cool after the aforementioned confession, didn’t I?). I tried to tune out my peers’ ambiance music, but alas, I did not succeed. I am now confident that I can sing more than half of these catchy Korean melodies from memory.

With midterms now upon us, the libraries have become packed with crazed, zombie-like students, influencing many of us to opt to study in an alternative location. Fortunately, Brown has lots of shared study spaces for you to take advantage of. Sure, they’re not libraries, but they still require you to use your manners and be polite. But how do you properly share those spaces with others? Check out our tips after the jump.

List Art Center: The studio is a sanctuary — don’t make it your personal discotheque. If you’re blasting your favorite album out loud, that’s great and fun, but make sure to be aware when others enter the room. Just ask if they share your love for whatever is playing and compromise accordingly. Hey, it could turn out that you both love Weezer’s christmas album! It could also turn that you don’t.

The Leung Family Gallery (above the Blue Room): I know, the echo makes it hard to do anything but turn pages. Even the tapping of computer keys can sound like a fleet of mighty steeds in this cavernous, tall-ceilinged room. However, the Leung’s patrons, on the whole, seem to be pretty chill about scuffling, shifting, and eating (I mean, the baked goods literally call everyone’s name from the Blue Room). Just don’t hash out your weekend up there on Sunday morning afternoon—that’s what the Ratty’s for… but not the Ratty Cave. More on that later.

The Quiet Green: The name makes it sound simple, but it’s so much more than just “quiet.” Depending on the season, time of day, or current inhabitants, noise levels on the Quiet Green range from low-decibel to spring-break-in-Florida raucous, complete with tanning oil and booze. As a rule of thumb, when the chill of fall starts to creep up on Providence, so does the QG’s austerity; the hotter, the more movement and noise (just like atoms and molecules, right? #humanitiesconcentrator). Just be sure to check your surroundings — feel it out.

The Ratty Cave: Avoiding other students seems to be the plan in here. Maintain a distance of two tables from another lonesome study marathoner, or he/she will eat you as brain food. Just kidding, they’ll probably just shoot you a glare and pull that orange pinapple guava juice a lil’ bit closer to their peanut butter and banana sandwich (other tasty brain food) to give you some space. The Ratty Cave is a splendid place for losing your sanity and becoming delusional in a variety of ways: the assumed stress of one-stop eating and studying explains why you’ve consumed three plates of tater tots and recited psych terms to your overcooked vegetables.

All in all, keep it classy no matter where you are. You may be away from your parents, but that doesn’t mean you should forget your “please”s and “thank you”s!

Leave a Reply