2 March 2013

I walked into Starbucks a little after noon today, and the place was packed. All but one of the tables that lines the back walls was taken, my favorite table on the far wall and the two near it were taken, the long table with a good twenty chairs was partially filled, and the comfy chairs and sofas were occupied.

I felt a bit lucky to snag the little table that I did; and little is all I need. I’m half-heartedly working on an outline/taking notes for a new story, and I have no books or papers I need to spread out before me. I have my little MacBook Air (yes, be jealous, it is freaking awesome) and computer mouse, so all I need room for aside from those is my Venti Black Iced Tea.

That, by the way, now rolls off my tongue like I’ve lived in a Starbucks for ten years. One day I’m going to come in here intending to get hot chocolate, and by rote I’m going to ask for a Venti Black Iced Tead, unsweetened.

Looking around, nearly everyone here has a laptop, books, notebooks, pen and pencils and worried, furrowed lines on their foreheads. They’re young, I don’t see anyone older than about 25, and seriousness swirls around like a desperate cloud.

None of them are quite this cute
Welcome to the weekend before midterm finals at UC Davis.

I’m guessing.

It was packed like this just before last semester’s final exams; the bakery bar was kept loaded with munchies, and young adults staked out tables, only venturing forth to run to the restroom, get coffee and tea refills, and to buy sugar-laden snacks to keep themselves going.

I don’t remember being so seriously studious in college. Which might explain a lot about what little I’ve retained from those days. I can’t even blame drugs, booze, and a party lifestyle for that. We were Mormon, we didn’t have fun like that.


I almost feel bad that 60% of what I’m doing while I sit here is surf around Facebook. Though I did take a break from that to look in the files I have stored at Dropbox, and found 5 pages of something I started around 3 years ago, and it’s actually pretty good. I think I abandoned it to work on The King and Queen of Perfect Normal. Or The Flipside of Here. And then I forgot about it. I wrote Rock the Pink and helped =ahem= Max with Bite Me.

(Yes. Yes I did insert a little pimping there.)

I might have to pick it up soon.

But the kids here…so serious, and apparently somewhat frustrated. At least the girl sitting next to me seems to be, judging by the Oh shit…two hours on the wrong damned chapter I heard a little while ago. And by the kid running his hands through his hair, fingers so tight he’s also pulling more than a few strands out, I think.

I think most of them feel like this
Part of me wants to stand on the bench and announce that it’s not worth obsessing over; you either know it or you don’t, the tests will be a piece of cake or they won’t. Life won’t hinge on a few tests, and in 30 years you won’t really remember what felt so urgent about it all.

But then I remind myself that hey, I had really good grades but I don’t remember 90% of what I supposedly learned. Which is why I dangle participles and mangle passive/active voice, and why I tend to. Write incomplete sentences.

So I’ll just sit here and kind of pay attention to them while I get little real work done, and feel stressed for them by extension.

Hey, it’s the least I can do.

And while I’m at it, I can ponder why I thought it was a good idea to use profanity in a piece that was clearly intended to be in the Young Adult genre…


Angel and Kirby said...

I remember going to school, I do not remember learning or studying. I probably didn't because every one discouraged me by saying I was not trying hard enough.

Victoria Henderson said...

I have forgotten nearly everything I learned in every school, but it took a lot of hard work and chemicals to succeed! Or is that one of those, "proud of the wrong thing" things?

Derby, Ducky said...

I think they put or their parents put so much pressure to succeed, do well, get fantastic grades, etc. If you don't, you are a failure. You won't get your perfect job, life etc.

In the long run it won't really matter, but for now, it does. I don't relish the thought of being their age in this time. Glad I am a bit older and wiser.

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are good but Thursday at 10 am is least busy in most stores.