Wednesday, September 20, 2006

oh, the droll scenarios that arise at Stern

Well, dear people. What can I tell you.

At the rally for Darfur in Central Park (which I attended this past Sunday,) I was given a blue bandanna. A blue bandanna saying "AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL" and the like. I tied said blue bandanna in my hair, and upon looking at myself, decided I liked the overall effect. It was pretty. It kept my hair out of my face. It's comfortable. In other words, I have now come upon a realization- I like bandannas, scarves, and other hairpieces. Not the ones that hurt like the dickens. Just pretty pieces of cloth.

So I decided to wear said bandanna to my Chumash class. I tie it over my head (it covers most, but not all, of my hair) and go to class. I realize that nobody else in my class is wearing anything in their hair. Maybe a sparkly barrette or a hairclip, but nothing like what I've done.

And so it was that my Chumash teacher inquired, very innocently and sweetly, "Dear, did you get married over the weekend?"

I blushed and said, "No!" very sternly, perhaps more sternly than I had meant, as she smiled and said, "Oh, well, I like to keep up with the news."

I went to tell my friend (she's in the Advanced Talmud Program) this story, still wearing my bandanna. My tone is indignant as I say with horror, "she thought I was MARRIED!"

That's when my friend's study partner turns to me and says, "Well, are you?"

Ye gods, my dear people. Ye gods.

Now to the tale of the librarian.

I'm a freshman, right? I've never used the library before. I don't know what kind of system they've got, what kind of card-cataloguing goes on, and so on and so forth. So I enter the library and say that there is a 'sefer' or Judaic work that I need called 'Halichois Baisah." The librarian looks at me with a distinctly unfriendly glance and informs me I need a call number.

I go off in search for a call number. But how, how, how, do I get the computer to type in Hebrew? After much work I realize that I press ALT + SHIFT to toggle between Hebrew and English. (About five minutes later I look down at the base of the computer and realize there's a sign that says that. Just how tired am I?)

Anyway. I go to check out the book (because there's an absurd rule that even these books, when used in the library, must be checked out.) I am allowed to have the book until 11:54 PM (generous, isn't it- two hours exactly. *rolls eyes*) The librarian scans the book with her exciting laser-gun appliance, and I reach over to take it, sliding it across the desk. She takes it back and says, "Don't take the book! First of all, it's rude to grab it from me, and secondly, I have to write down how long you can have it for."

Stunned into silence on account of my apparent "rudeness" in reaching for a book that is for all purposes MINE now, I nod my head and acquiesce.

The next sefer I need is the Igros Moshe. I come to her with a call number, very proud of myself, only to have her point out to me (and shake her head wearily at my infinite stupidity) that the book I want is in the Gottesman Library on the YU Campus. She finally scrolls down and points me to the reference section.

I want to call my father to find out what "OC" means in the reference (Igros Moshe OC 2:26) but this woman literally comes over and claps her hands in front of me, shrieking "No cell phones!"

Now the fact is, I frequent libraries very, very often. I am considerate of people. I do not begin two-hour conversations in libraries. And I'm telling you that a two-minute conversation with my father asking what OC means would not have upset or alarmed anyone in that library. But that can't happen. No, I have to get up, walk outside the library, talk to my father for about two minutes (and I'm not even talking, just listening) and then walk back inside. Grrr!

I wanted to see old tests that my Biology teacher has given, but by this time I realize that this woman views everything I have to say, ask or do as a great bother, and so I don't even try. You have to wonder at the logic of it, though. This is the library. I'm really not out to get you. I just don't know what the rules are. I don't KNOW about call numbers or the Gottesman Library. So please take pity on me!