BlogDailyCarrels: The best of the Rock’s pen/pencil graffiti, Part 2

As with any good art form, graffiti, particularly that which is found throughout the studious halls of the John D. Rockefeller Library, is a constantly evolving medium. Even as tidbits of wisdom from past Brown undergraduates are invariably rubbed away by the passage of time, freshly scrawled ones appear just as quickly on the desks and walls of the library, a discourse that unites the tired, over-caffeinated students of both past and present. While some of the older works still remain, a new wave of notable Rock graffiti has since begun to sweep the building—an artistic movement of small but revolutionary proportions. Witness the current denizens of the Rock encourage, cajole, and occasionally insult one another with the following five gems of life wisdom (which mainly focus on how studying really, really sucks).

You Can Do It

“You can do it :),” one of the more simplistic pieces on display. The encouragement feels unoriginal (albeit genuine), and the basic style of the smiley face indicates a lack of proper artistic training. Still, more than one hard-working student has undoubtedly taken solace from this message. 

Go Get Em Tiger

“You get ’em tiger!” As with the first picture, this piece is basic in both style and substance. With that said, the use of the colloquial ’em’ rather than the standard ‘them’ speaks to an awareness for current, ‘hip’ language trends that isn’t present in the previous example.

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BlogDailyCarrels: The best of the Rock’s pen/pencil graffiti

We’ve all seen them: in the depths of finals, on Friday evening study sessions when the place is depressingly empty, or when we gaze up, bleary-eyed, from the papers and theses and problem sets we’re struggling to complete overnight. They sustain us and annoy us and distract us. They are little snippets of wisdom and beauty. They are technically illegal vandalism of university property. They are the many examples of pen and pencil graffiti on the desks of the John D. Rockefeller library, and some of them are pretty awesome.

After exhaustive research and in-the-field study, here are some of the most clever, moving, funny, and brilliant notes ever to be etched into the desks of this hallowed place of study.


A second floor gem. At first glance, a seemingly casual note on the lack of apparently desirable “normal” guys at RISD, but let’s think about it. Does this unnamed RISD student truly crave a “normal” love interest? Is he/she unaware that variety is indeed the spice of life? Should the men of RISD feel insulted for being deemed undesirable, or should we men of Brown take offense for being called “normal” when we probably all like to think of ourselves as quirky and unique? I’m quirky. I’m unique. There’s emotional baggage here for everyone involved, if you care to unpack it. Continue Reading