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1L Fall finals legal humor unsolicited advice

Why I avoid the law library

December 7, 2008

I do not study at the law school, especially during finals.

Law students during finals are as tense as a pack of ferrets in the back of a pickup truck.

A recent email from our head librarian is an example of why I avoid the law library:


 
“As we approach finals, the need for a quiet study environment increases. To help, the library designates an area on the first floor as “quiet study.” This is the area along the “zig-zag” between the entrance of the first floor reading room and computer lab 153. (See attached map) Signs are posted in those areas.
One year we received a complaint about a student who was wearing flip-flops and walking to and from his carrel a bit too frequently for his neighbors. While this example may seem extreme, it highlights the general tension level that finals inspire. You will be doing yourself and your colleagues a favor if you do your part to maintain a quiet study environment.
Here are some things you can do, to help ensure that you and your neighbor are able to concentrate. Each of these suggestions, believe it or not, is based on a real complaint.

  • Avoid having conversations.
  • If you want to chat with someone, walk into the lobby or leave the library.
  • If you need to study with someone, reserve a study room.
  • If you are having a conversation as you enter the library, finish it in the circulation/lobby area, before you go into the reading rooms/stacks.
  • Silence or turn off your cell phone.
  • If you want to make or answer a call, leave the library.
  • Turn off the sound on your computer. A mute option should be available via the control panel.
  • If you use an iPod, CD player, or any other audio device, please be sure that the volume is set so that only you, and not your neighbor, can hear it through the headphones.
  • Avoid continually tapping or clicking your pen, crunching papers, singing, humming, or any other noisy activity that might be distracting to your neighbor.

As always, our goal is to provide the best environment possible for students to effectively complete or prepare for exams. Your help is greatly appreciated as are your suggestions. If you have any thoughts on how we can improve the library, be sure to let us know. Email lawlib@umn.edu to share your thoughts or ideas.
Good luck on your exams! (And watch for occasional treats in the Law Library lobby Dec 8-19)
Heart, your head librarian.”


To designate a ‘quiet area’ of the library is ridiculous, especially since our library has the acoustics of an opera house – you can hear a roach’s thoughts from the other side of the library…well, maybe that’s the caffeine speaking
The main point of a library is that it’s a quiet study area. People don’t just show up for the power outlets or the sometimes-wireless. Sure, there are books and uh, things in there too, but most law students don’t use the library for research unless Westlaw and Lexis forsake us. People go to the library for a quiet study spot.

‘That the librarian has to tell (pardon me) grown-ass-law-students to not talk in the library, to not blast music, and to silence their computers is almost as ridiculous as the  fact that students actually do blast their music, talk, smack, fart, and do all the other inconsiderate things that bring out the crazy in their peers.

But ‘The Obnoxious’ were born without the ability to discern what habits bother their neighbors. An email isn’t going to help. Running and crying to the librarian isn’t going to help. The only thing that will fix these people is a good old fashioned throw down – “Hi, you are annoying and this is why” – which law students aren’t apt to do, because the first thing The Obnoxious is going to do is run around and tell everyone about that crazy kid in the library who clicked off on him.

So I avoid the library to avoid The Obnoxious.

I also avoid the library to avoid those rabid over-stressers. You know, those students who can’t focus on their textbook lest it interfere with their blind panic…

finals

Actually, the over-stressers fall into four categories:

  1. The Wallowers: these are the students who look like they are going to vomit, or cry, or both… this includes is the girl who is weeping softly over the Civil Procedure book.
  2. The Twitchers: the over-reactors and snappers…this includes the guy who lets out a primal scream when someone drops a pencil. He will someday kill his wife.
  3. The Homeless: what’s that smell? This is that guy who has stopped showering, doing laundry, and probably has a few dead plants (and pets) strewn around his apartment. He lives in his study carrel and survives off of vending machine food.
  4. The Talkers: those who talk about studying in lieu of actually studying.. this includes the girl who just finished her 80 page outline and has to go around and ask everyone about theirs. Is 80 pages too short? Should she make a third supplemental outline to drive home the Parol Evidence Rule? The Talker is the worst sort of over-stresser because unlike the other three, the Talker will seek you out

The Talkers make the Wallowers bust out into a long funeral wail, but are quickly side-tackled by a Twitcher…and as entertaining as that is to watch, I just avoid the whole circus and study at the Pelli library downtown.

Sure, there are whole new problems at the Pelli…like beggars and snorers, but it’s a pleasant walk, beautiful view, and miles away from the drammy that is the law library during finals.

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  • Reply
    Lawschoolmom
    December 7, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Holy hell! Do you go to my law school? Our library is quiet but we have a LOT of over-stressers at my school. I avoid the law school as much as I can to avoid them and to avoid people who insist on post-exam decompression. The exam is over. Talking about it does no good and will probably make me feel pretty damn stupid.

  • Reply
    Silly Little Law Student
    December 7, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Dude I hear ya. I only wish that my school would send such an email. Sadly the closest we get is the head librarian telling my friends to stop being so noisy while putting up the library christmas tree because he fears some of our classmates might strangle them with tinsel.

    Smart move to stay out of the lawbrary. It can be toxic.

  • Reply
    Danielle
    December 7, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Our library has a walled off “computer free” area where you’re not allowed to bring your laptop so that no one gets distracted by THE SOUND OF TYPING.
    I sometimes sit outside that area and silently judge the people who go in there.

  • Reply
    0L
    December 8, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    The state the obvious: undergrad libraries are even worse. I try to avoid mine altogether (yet, for whatever reason, I’m writing this while at the library.)

    Congratulations on the changes to the site! Looks great. Very wintery.

  • Reply
    Roundup: 12 Dec 08 | fresh.mn
    December 12, 2008 at 9:30 am

    […] Reasons to avoid the University of Minnesota Law Library. In email from the head librarian: “One year we received a complaint about a student who was wearing flip-flops and walking to and from his carrel a bit too frequently for his neighbors. While this example may seem extreme, it highlights the general tension level that finals inspire.” To which Dennis says: “To designate a ‘quiet area’ of the library is ridiculous, especially since our library has the acoustics of an opera house – you can hear a roach’s thoughts from the other side of the library…well, maybe that’s the caffeine speaking…” He goes on to describe the four categories of over-stressers. […]

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