Column: Vexed in the city

Given the fact that we are at an academic institution, a hothouse of intellect, wisdom and learning, one would expect that every element of this great school would have been planned and implemented with a high degree of care. Throughout my year and a half here, I have born witness to the fact that this is emphatically not so. GW is plagued with many structural and design flaws indicating that those responsible for implementing them had the forethought and intelligence of an inflatable hippo.

I begin with a flaw that affects those of us who are studious or who attempt to be. Gelman Library, where we ostensibly go to bone up on subjects and cram for our tests, is a knowledge death trap.

Let’s begin with the temperature – mild, if not slightly warm in the main reading room, i.e. perfectly comfortable dozing weather. In the study enclaves, the temperature hovers at a couple of degrees below zero. I don’t know about you, but in that climate, all I want to do is chow down on a couple dozen Big Burgers, snuggle down in the folds of my blubber and hibernate the winter away. Then there are the beautiful candy-apple-red leather couches. Merely sitting in one is like popping a Quaalude with a vodka chaser. I start to drool, the words of my textbook start to swirl and I promptly black out (come to think of it, it’s a lot like my last date, too. Yikes!).

Shouldn’t seats at a library feel less like bed and more like razors? Wouldn’t we all be better students if falling asleep in your chair was rewarded with a quick electric zap or the swift slap of a UPD officer? Installing a few well-placed tacks on the downy seat cushions, I assure you, would rocket us up to top-tier status in no time.

The most glaring structural problems appear in the design of the J-Street Starbucks. First, there is the lack of electric cattle prods, which anyone and everyone agrees are a necessary implement for dealing with the hoards of Huns – I mean freshmen – who think they deserve caffeine as much as those of us with a graduate student-sized workload and/or a really bad hangover.

The most striking example of bad planning at Starbucks is the existence of cups and espresso machines to begin with. Far more economical would be syringe dispensers and tourniquets for mainlining caffeine, which is what everyone on line is aiming to do anyway. Either that or neatly packaged grams of caffeine powder would do. Starbucks’ new slogan: “Avoid lines, do a line!” Catchy, huh?

For lack of a better segue, I will get straight to my next point and tell you that your caring Carrie Bradshaw-wannabe (that’s me) received her second ever piece of hate mail last week. Last week’s hate mail, while not containing anthrax spores like the daily care packages I receive from my parents, condemned me for slandering Recess and that I (and I quote) “indirectly equated eating out of a garbage can with going to a Recess show.” Aside from the fact that the letter was utterly humorless – a fact that drove my point home faster than SJT can sign checks for more golden phalluses in the Great Hall – the writer ignored the fact that Recess disses legitimate social groups all the time.

Did I even bristle when I went to a show in which crack whores were demeaned and derided? Did I write them a whiny letter protesting this unwarranted mockery of my mother’s noble and lucrative choice of professions, the fruits of which I owe my existence to? Did they think twice when they insulted phone sex operators who bring so much joy to our Engineering School peers?

The writer tried to argue that the “more than 800 students who have attended a Recess show this year” prove that I am wrong, i.e. how can that many people be total nincompoops? Look, if half of the country is inbred enough to vote Republican, I am perfectly willing to concede that a couple hundred GW students might lack brain cells as well. Heck, I have my own column – isn’t that proof enough of idiocy?

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