Monday, December 15, 2008

Exámenes

Hola gente.

Sorry for not writing for a while; it's been exams season here at Harvard Law. Consequently, I've been dividing my time between studying diligently at the Hark, our law school commons, and trying to maintain a somewhat normal social life. So, in the past week, I've written a 25-page paper, taken an eight-hour exam and studied for another eight-hour exam (to be taken tomorrow), but I've also managed to go out drinking with a bunch of 1L's, go salsa dancing, and attend an office Christmas party (not my own)! Now that's what I call multitasking.

After recently spending an inordinate amount of time in the Hark, a place to which people come to both study and socialize, I have become acutely aware of my own particular issues with other people. The basic problem is the following: I hate being around other people who are studying because they either sit alone and make annoying noises, or else they sit with other people and make annoying noises, usually insisting on discussing their upcoming exam in excruciating detail. But I also hate being around people who are not studying, because they make even more annoying noises, and tend to have even louder, more distracting conversations about even stupider things. Yet, I can't be left alone in my own room to study, or I'll end up watching daytime TV and/or giving myself a pedicure, so I have to go somewhere public to get my study on. It's quite the dilemma.

I'm not being unreasonable here, I assure you. First of all, according to a Cosmo "couple's quiz" I recently forced my boyfriend to take with me, I am a person whose dominant sense is hearing (while he is more of a "seeing" person). This means, according to the researchers at Cosmopolitan University (School of Pseudo-Science), that I get easily annoyed/distracted by noises around me and enjoy long, cloying conversations with my significant other. True and true!

This sensitivity to noise causes me a lot of angst when I am studying in the Hark. While it is quiet there, it's not quiet enough for me, and even the lowest voices carry. I mean, I can deal with low-level conversations going on near me, but I definitely can't deal with listening to any of the following, all of which I've had to endure this week:

1. Intense study group conversation involving a guy casually throwing out the phrase "seemingly thin veneer," as if the term "veneer" doesn't already imply "thin," and as if that pretentious "seemingly" was necessary.

2. A guy loudly snorting, sniffling and making other gross mucus sounds, continually, for like three hours.

3. Shrill cell-phone conversations about the stress of exams.

4. Over-analysis of the idea of "content discrimination."

5. Slurping sounds. WHY did the Hark need to start serving Asian noodle bowls?

6. Girls lamely flirting with the guy who works at the café/making annoying food orders. "That's skim, right? And a large chocolate chip cookie, please."

7. The laughter of children coming from the HLS skating rink.

It's been a rough week for me. I've gotten through it by heavily relying on Diet Coke, my headphones, and Swedish Fish. Thank God I am done tomorrow, and then I can take off for Christmas break. Almost there...

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