Patrick Leigh-Pemberton: Weathering away in the library
Isn’t it nice? Isn’t it so pleasant to walk down the street and feel the warmth of the sun on your back or to wonder out of your house and […]
Isn’t it nice? Isn’t it so pleasant to walk down the street and feel the warmth of the sun on your back or to wonder out of your house and have to squint in the brightness of spring’s return? Good weather heralds rejuvenation and a season of platitudes about maybe having a barbecue sometime next week. It speaks of a time of lying in the grass and wearing less, catching up on Vitamin D and re-entering the world of the healthy. These are all good things. The youthfulness of the moment is intoxicating.
However, we in St Andrews have a different approach to the sun than you might find in a town full of normal people. We look outside and think, “What a lovely day. You know what? I am going to go to the library!”
It’s not right.
This past Monday, you would find a space in the library with an ease that was insulting to our monolith of Academic hell. I normally expect to spend a decent twenty minutes looking for the perfect spot for my journey into the world of original sources and secondary readings. On Monday 25th, this was more than possible (I clocked a record time of merely 7 minutes). And then the sun came out in all of its brilliant splendour. The students responded by cramming every nook and cranny available in the library. Do we hate sunshine? Or do we love it so much that just the littlest hint of it is enough to make us look up from our desks at home, wander outside, only to become crushed by the weight of academic guilt like a fog of despair?
There is something wrong about the library being full on sunny days. There is something rotten in the state of St Andrews where rather than bask all day, we feel the weight of work and deadlines so acutely that a sunny day is the only day we consider going to the library. I don’t like it. It isn’t fair.
So, I have a proposition for you. Go for a walk on one of of wonderful beaches; sack off the whole day; enjoy the beautiful weather for what it is worth, but don’t pollute the library. If you must work, at least work from home and stop taking all the good Top Floor spots, where you steal the sun from the rest of us up there.