…doesn’t always stay in the library. Obvi. I’m posting it on the World Wide On-Line InterWebs, so probably everyone in the world will know by half an hour from now, because let me tell you, I am popular.
<cue “Popular” playing in my head for the next three hours.>
Anyhow. Yesterday was a pretty normal day in the library. I accessioned some new things, gave students materials from the reserve closet, re-shelved some books, vacuumed and emptied the trash, and then proceeded to work on reading the next chapter in my psychology textbook. (Does the name “Pavlov” ring a bell?!) About an hour before closing, a group of students came in with a message or something for the other librarian on call. Nothing was really happening in the library, so they stayed for a while chatting. I was sitting at the other end of the half-circle desk, so I thought it would be sort of awkward to turn my chair around to join the conversation, especially since I didn’t know most of them. Of course, sitting with my back to them reading felt a little aloof and antisocial. Oh well.
So they stay for a while talking and laughing and acting like most college students act on Thursday evening, while I sat, half-listened to them, and tried to focus on operant conditioning. Sometimes they would wander to the door like they were leaving. Sometimes they would go outside and wave to each other through the dropbox. Sometimes one of the guys would wander over to the computer side of the desk where I was and point the barcode scanner at the other librarian like a gun. It looked like they were having fun, and I was happy for them. Because college can be stressful, so yay for happy students!! Finally, it looked like they were getting to ready to go, and they went over to the door and then stood there for a few minutes talking some more. Funny–it sounded like one of the girls said my name. I glanced up quizzically, but didn’t really pay too much attention. After all, a lot of words sound like “Betsy,” really. And they weren’t looking at me. So I read on about B. F. Skinner, and they kept talking.
“You’re just a chicken,” I heard one of the girls taunt the barcode-scanner guy.
“No!” he protested. “I just don’t want to!”
The girls made chicken noises at him.
“Fine,” he agreed with frustration. “If you promise to leave afterwards.”
Not quite completely engrossed in lab rats and unconditional stimuli, I noticed the group sort of wandering back out of the doorway. The girls pulled out phones. The guy slowly came back over to the barcode scanner and picked it up.
I looked up. I have never met this guy. “Yeeeessss?” I responded.
He turned sort of red and the girls laughed. “Do you mind if I…check you out?” He actually never finished saying the phrase, because he was too busy laughing like he was really embarrassed. Which he was. “There!” he turned to the girls. “Leave!” Then he ran away.
“Ummmmm…” I gave one of the really awkward forced smiles you give when no one’s ever used a pickup line on you and you don’t know whether to laugh or not. I decided to shake my head and keep reading my psychology.
College life can be sort of weird.