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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Exploring Shields

Graphic by Jennifer Wu
Graphic by Jennifer Wu

With finals week right around the corner, the weary students of UC Davis have been seen flocking to Shields Library to get their study on. Amidst stacks of literary anthologies, piles of highlighter-soaked biochemistry notes and iPhones filled with photos of lectures slides that no one bothered to handwrite, some students will drown in the library’s sea of last-minute crammers. Others will emerge from the Shields’ automatic doors having fully embraced this study space.

After extensive observation, we have come to the conclusion that there are five types of Shields Library patrons. Some are rarer than others, but all can be spotted gathering amid this literary habitat during these “testing” times. Here are the types of patrons we have noted:

  1.   The Curve-Setters: Clad with full coffee mugs, fully-charged laptops and occasionally, a change of clothes, these study-savvy patrons can be seen claiming full tables on the Lower Level and glued to desks littered with flashcards in the Main Reading Room. Curve-Setters are notorious for spending hours on end in the depths of Shields and are even known to stay full days in the 24/7 Study Room, their eyes bloodshot from a natural diet of Dutch Bros. and Diet Coke.
  2.   The Nesters: After attempting to memorize calculus formulas or trying to read all of The Canterbury Tales, these drowsy dreamers can be found napping in the sunlight on the fourth floor window sills or drooling on their study guides in the silent zones of the Lower Level. If spotted during the day, be careful not to wake these little patrons, as they probably need the rest and tend to be nocturnal.
  3.   The Gamers: These patrons are masters of disguise and often appear to be Curve-Setters at first glance. Beneath their piles of untouched graph paper, though, exists their portals (likely League of Legends) to far off lands devoid of hard-grading TAs and Smartsite. One might ask why such patrons bother to populate the Shields watering hole if they aren’t interested in the learned atmosphere. The answer is simple: strong free WiFi, plenty of electrical outlets and zero nagging roommates.
  4.   The Lovebirds: Thinking that studying together was a plausible concept, these courtly couples can be seen canoodling at tables full of uncomfortable Curve-Setters, taking “#instalove” selfies, or sending flirty Snapchats in the Shields courtyard on the benches built for two. These patrons, if still in the honeymoon stage, can be markedly giggly and thus, a possible distraction to another’s concentration. Luckily, Lovebirds are easily spotted, thanks to their tendency to loudly whisper sweet-nothings, and therefore can be easily avoided.
  5.   The Graduates: Locked in the hidden study cages of Shields, these patrons are sleep-deprived M.A. and Ph.D. candidates working in the darkest shadows of the shelves. When migrating through the library to their ink-stained caves, these life-long students are easily mistaken for attractively-disheveled undergrads. If one is quiet enough, it is possible to observe Graduates in their natural habitat and watch as they scroll through pages of research articles and student loan summaries.


The Editorial Board wishes all UC Davis students the best on their academic endeavours this testing season!

Graphic by Jennifer Wu

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