Reilly room not common enough

THE REILLY Learning Commons is home to six new double screen PCs and Apple desktops, as well as four new “learning pods.” Student reactions to the new space have been mixed.  Photo by The Aquinas / Emma Black

THE REILLY Learning Commons is home to six new double screen PCs and Apple desktops, as well as four new “learning pods.” Student reactions to the new space have been mixed. Photo by The Aquinas / Emma Black

As I sit in the newly redesigned, re-engineered first floor of the Weinberg Memorial Library, I can’t help feeling a tad distracted. Maybe it’s the fact that two iMac screens are just too much for a Word document, or the fact that attempting to do chemistry homework while sitting on a couch gazing at a flat screen TV is a bit oxymoronic to me. Maybe it’s the senior in me who is devastated to see that the only place I have been productive for the past three years has been turned into a futuristic room with the vibe that Will Smith will emerge, engaging in casual conversation with Sonny.
But what I still cannot wrap my head around is, why? Of course the aesthetic appeal is incredibly better than last semester, but that’s like putting lipstick on a dog — wrong. It is a library, not a chance to boast, “our students pay way too much tuition to be studying at tables.” Maybe if we had majors like engineering or architecture that could truly utilize dual screen computers for a program like AutoCAD I wouldn’t feel so jaded, but we don’t, so I will stay cold. One iMac screen is big enough to have Excel, Word and your BuzzFeed quiz on what Rugrats character you are, up all at once.
In the end, the computers aren’t the worst things to happen; it’s the paper-thin study rooms. Instead of coming down to the library whenever my nerdy little heart desires to sit at a lovely table, I am reduced to sitting like a hunchback on a couch gazing directly into an elite “you must reserve to enter” study room, even though you can still hear everything in the room. Maybe I should channel my American blood and apply the principle of our forefathers — taking land that is not mine.
All jokes aside, I’m just heartbroken about the loss of tables. For the first time in my collegiate career I studied in my room this past week, and it was weird, like that period of time in “500 Days of Summer” when the girl you love says she still wants to be friends — weird. But maybe that’s just it, moving on. Instead of crying, I can just go on and discover that my room is my Autumn, and forget about Summer…I mean the library.
Or this could all just be a part of Skynet’s plan to infiltrate the last place on Earth before releasing Arnold on us.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Commentary by Matthew Cifone

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