Sometime last year I made the crazy decision to write a political science honors thesis — quite possibly the most insane thing I have ever done. And this year I’m definitely paying for it. Not because I want to cry whenever I think about how much work I have to do (though that’s true too, come to think of it) but because I can’t find a place to write the stupid thing.

My apartment is great but has all the distractions of a TV, friends and a comfy bed that are guaranteed to be much more interesting than writing about alternative explanations to American non-ratification of multilateral treaties. In order to avoid succumbing to the siren call of a soft pillow and down comforter, I have to relocate my writing time. The Honors Commons in Mason Hall is the perfect place to write — a mixture of activity and quiet where I can always find a table and an outlet. Alas, I have a tendency of working past 4:30p.m. when the Honors Commons closes every day, and it’s not open on weekends, which leaves me and my computer wandering campus searching for an outlet.

One day, in some strange parody of an old Mr. Bean movie, I found myself stopping in at every possible study location on campus. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m kind of picky when it comes to a solid place to set up camp for the day. I know I could go to the Law Quad and live in the Law Library with all the stressed-out Law students. It would be quiet, and there are plenty of outlets on the tables. But frankly, the Law Library is a little frightening — I always feel like the student next to me looks like he hasn’t moved for three days and might burst into tears at any moment. Plus, it’s too creepy quiet in there, and I get distracted by its prettiness. Ditto with the Graduate Library reading room. And I’m pretty sure people get distracted by all the other people hooking up in the stacks, so I try to avoid that. While there are lots of outlets, I got lost in there for a few hours and might be still suffering PTSD from the experience.

I tried North Quad — might as well take advantage of the multimillion dollar building — but I couldn’t find an outlet there for the life of me. So I found myself standing in front of the UGLi with an unfortunate situation. Theoretically, it’s my library, where the undergrads go to get work done — or talk, as the reality is — but since I had my iPod I was ready to brave it. Really, it should be the perfect mix of company and isolation. But as I worked my way up the floors desperately searching for an outlet I realized that my library was failing me. It wasn’t until I reached the fourth floor that I even found outlets on the table and getting an open seat was like a fight to the death.

Needless to say it wasn’t a very productive day, and I’m still on the hunt for a good place to write. A good table with an outlet so I can actually use my computer shouldn’t be all that hard to find on this world-class campus, but it is. In the meantime, I’m using it as a good excuse to not work — don’t tell my adviser (just kidding, I swear I’m writing).

Erika Mayer is an LSA senior.

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