3 times the John Hay Library couldn’t handle finals

This is meant to be a humor post, and is in no ways intended to offend those who work to maintain the immaculacy of the John Hay Library. It’s personally one of my favorite places to work, and I love it dearly and have profound respect for its staff. 

Finals season is definitely not for the faint of heart. Between term papers, exams, and group projects, finals season is mentally and physically exhausting. The poor newly-renovated John Hay Library is a lowly first-year at Brown, and it’s definitely feeling the struggle. Here are three times the John Hay Library simply could not deal with finals season:

 

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1. That time it just needed to sleep. The John Hay Library has been caught sleeping on the job twice this week! Between a 10:30 p.m. bedtime on Tuesday and a 4:08 p.m. power nap today, this poor little first-year is definitely struggling to adapt to the finals season sleep cycle (or lack thereof).

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2. That time it forgot to drink Emergen-C and caught a cold. Poor John Hay Library hasn’t quite realized the importance of keeping its immune system strong during this tough time. It must have forgotten to take its daily dose of Vitamin C, because it started to get quite cold earlier this week. There was supposedly some sort of malfunction with the heater, but we all know that the John Hay Library was really just feeling a bit under the weather due to all of the stress and lack of sleep that comes with finals period!

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3. That time it was too exhausted to print out its term paper. The John Hay Library finally finished its term paper, just before the deadline! However, it was just so mentally and physically run-down from the many long hours of work  that it dedicated to the paper that it forgot to print it out! Poor thing.

Hang in there, John Hay Library! It’ll all be over before you know it!

Images via, via, and via Kevin Haggerty ’18.


Lights back on in the Hay after awkward blackout

The Hay around 10:30 tonight

The Hay around 10:30 tonight.

As you all (hopefully) know, library hours are extended during reading period and through final exams to better serve your studying needs. While these extensions go off seamlessly in the Rock and SciLi, old veteran libraries, the recently renovated John Hay Library is (understandably) still working out the kinks. Tonight at 10:30, the Hay’s giant Reading Room plunged into darkness. The twenty-five students dispersed across the room sat in full-on dark silence until about 10:42 p.m.

Apparently, the Hay has an auto-timer for the lights to switch off at 10:30 p.m., a reasonable time given its normal 10:00 p.m. closing time. Unfortunately, no one remembered to adjust the timer for the reading period closing time of 3:00 a.m., thus causing an awkward wait-for-DPS-to-save-the-day twelve minutes for the library’s silent patrons.

While I found out the above explanation by exiting the room and asking the security guard what was going on (great reporter over here), literally no one else reacted to the blackout. Honestly, it could have been a proper squirrel-situation blackout. But no one had time to worry about that: the lights all shut off, there was a minute of low whispers of confusion, and then nothing. People just went back to work, guided by the light of their laptops.

I’m kind of concerned by the student body’s clearly desperate state. Apparently, during reading period, nothing can deter us from working, not even for a minute, not even the absence of light. It’s objectively hilarious to sit in dark silence with strangers for twelve minutes, just typing. To be honest, I might not have gotten up either, but I was highlighting a printed document at the time–I know, so vintage–so I actually needed the lights.

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We love you, quirky study spots

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There are two weeks left until Thanksgiving break. That means midterm season is back in full swing after its quick hiatus that started on Halloween and ended a day or two after that.

For freshmen who are still struggling to understand the idea of midterms when they happen more often than just “mid-term”: We have many midterms, which makes no sense, but we’re all too busy studying to take the time to change the terminology.

And you know what happens after midterm season? Finals. Finals come right after Thanksgiving, and those last about three weeks, too, because you have a final paper due just before reading period and then something else due during reading period and then a “final” during finals week.

So you’re going to need a library. You’re going to need a place to call home through thick and thin–and by “thick and thin” I’m referring to the width of the 12 Meeting Street cookies you get delivered to the study spot of your choice.

We don’t give our study spots enough credit for what we put them through. We stain them with blood, sweat, tears, and Mama Kim’s. Next time you find yourself in a sedentary position for seven hours straight–and no, I’m not talking about your intimate moments with Netflix–stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, and look around you. We should not subject the aggression we have toward our workloads onto the places where we conquer them.

Next time you feel down, or get angry at the SciLi basement windows for creating a deadly greenhouse effect, remember why you love your study space. As 19th century poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning says in “Sonnet 43,” “How do I love thee, [study space]? Let me count the ways.”

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John Hay seems like a stereotypical Brown student

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Last night, Brown hosted “John Hay Night,” a celebration of the life and scholarship of one of its most famous alumni. The event showcased the impressive set of resources that the university has collected about Hay, who served as a diplomat for three U.S. presidents. Professor Michael Vorenberg introduced separate talks by John Taliaferro, author of All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt, and Joshua Zeitz AM’98 PhD’02, author of Lincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln’s Image. Taliaferro’s book is the first biography of Hay in over 80 years, and Zeitz’s work puts a new spin on a portion of Hay’s life that is often overlooked. As he puts it, Lincoln buffs know little about the Roosevelt-era Hay, and vice versa.

John Hay, the man for whom the beautiful, renovated library you’re too lazy to set foot in is named, has a résumé that would make our template blush. He spent almost 60 years in public life, from his time as Abraham Lincoln’s personal secretary—see, not everyone goes into finance or consulting—to his death while serving as Secretary of State under Theodore Roosevelt. He was instrumental in key moments in U.S. history like the forging of the Open Door policy with China and the construction of the Panama Canal. Along with John Nicolay, the second of “Lincoln’s Boys,” he wrote a truly massive biography of the late President that brought to light many of the qualities that we now take for granted when we think about Honest Abe. He even ghost-wrote the famous Bixby letter, which you might know as that voice-over that makes you cry at the end of Saving Private Ryan.

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