It is that time of the semester again when students troop into the library wearing huge T-shirts, shorts and flip flops. They carry with them bags of papers, books, snacks, the occasional teddy bear, soft toy, etc which they later spread out all over the tables. Practically all seats are taken and there is a slight bristling of tension in the air. Exam time.
Sometimes you will get a student coming up to you to complain about a bunch of girls whispering too excitedly or about the crackly sound of plastic bags of crackers being opened or about calculators or laptops clickety-clacking away too noisily (“The library should have a non-clicking zone, you know”). You have the occasional student who would come up to say his fave seat by the corner has been reserved by a ton of books and bags and would you please do something about it. Or the one that exasperatedly tells you, “Could you ask the girl at the table across from me to eat her fish-balls somewhere else?” And don’t get me started on handphones.
I read somewhere that people with heighten anxieties can’t deal with the slightest noise. I can appreciate that. Yup. I would get seriously cheesed off too if I have to listen to the crackly crackle of keropok or deal with the smell of fish-balls while I concentrate on calling my lecturer and asking my friends about the Theory of Constraints for tomorrow’s exams. But you know, I’m cool. There is the librarian what. I just go over and tell her. And she is going to make things right for me.