O.K. Here's the situation. I am studying this week for my Praxis II teaching licensure exams. I will be taking two this Saturday - back to back. All week I have been trying to study at the Cleveland Heights Library in their SILENT study room, but I have heard just about everything EXCEPT silence.
The morning started off nice and peaceful. I had pointed my desk towards the wall to eliminate distractions and the room was nice and quiet. Then again, I was the only one in the room. Everything changed about 20 minutes into my studying. A woman arrived. I waited patiently as she loudly unpacked her laptop and settled in. Finally, silence again, then...clip...clip. I turned my head slowly and stared in amazement as this woman continued clipping her nails. Yep. Apparently she needs a study room to perform self-grooming tasks unlike the rest of us who prefer the privacy of our home. Maybe she just had a hang nail and needed to clip it really quick...clip...clip...clip...nope - she was just rude. It took every ounce of self-control I had to not cross the room and rip the clippers out of the woman's hand and toss them out the open window. I exhaled slowly and returned to my studying.
Silence. How nice. Slurrrrrp....shake....slurrrrp. "I THINK YOU GOT IT ALL!!!" is what I wanted to scream, but I didn't. I got up and went to the ladies room. I'd like to say that the day got better from there, but it didn't. Obviously some people just don't understand the concept of a "Silent Study Room."
Things started off great. There was only one other person in the room with me and he was working quietly on his laptop. I was really getting some good studying done, but then she arrived. A woman in about her 60s entered the room carrying a box and a plastic bag full of papers. She was anything but quiet. I watched her as she loudly unpacked the contents of the box...a desk lamp. What??? Who brings their own desk lamp to the library? It gets better. She plugs it in and the room fills with a quiet, yet annoying, humming sound. She fidgets and fidgets until she apparently finds the perfect placement for this florescent lamp/magnifying glass. Yep, it had a huge magnifying glass attached to it. Kind of cool, but again, who brings this to a library. I figured she must have some pretty important documents she needs to read. Nope! I watched in astonishment as she LOUDLY removed a Walmart sales flier from the big plastic bag and placed it under the magnifying glass. I swear to God I'm not making this stuff up. She had traveled to the library to use the "Silent Study Room" to look at sales fliers with her own lamp!!
I won't bore you with the details of the rest of my week thus far; lets just say that once again, I have concluded that people are completely self-absorbed and rude. No regard for rules. Being silent in a study room clearly doesn't apply to them because they're special. The worst part is, when a room is quiet, every little noise is magnified. Someone clipping their nails; slurping a soft drink; rustling through a plastic bag; or listening to their IPOD so loudly that you can hear the lyrics...in a "Silent Study Room" these noises not only distract you - they consume you. You can't ignore them because they have become the only noise in the room and your brain can't help but focus on them.
So, I'm about to enter the "Silent Study Room" again today and with my current stress level, I hope, for everyone's sake, that people obey the rules and keep quiet. I'd hate to end up on the evening news: "Crazy woman throws chair at unsuspecting library patron as she screams 'Silent means silent!!!!'"