To my beloved library desk …
Three and a half years ago — so young, bright-eyed, eager — I was ready to dig into some reading for my first-year Scribner Seminar. This was college reading, and it was time to get serious. I walked into the Lucy Scribner Library, overwhelmed by my seating options. And there you were, like a beacon — the perfect desk.
I know. I know. You’re just a desk and you’re not even by the window! But there’s something special about this place, where people come as individuals but gather collectively to study.
Little did I know that, over the years I’d spend with you, I’d form a special comradery with our fellow third-floor studiers.
An unspoken and unbreakable bond, it will be filled with unified glances when we hear a loud conversation or empathic smiles acknowledging shared disappointment when one’s usual seat is occupied by another.
After years, hundreds of hours and late nights together, I may not know these other studiers well, but they will forever be engrained in my memories of Skidmore.
So, dear desk and nameless friends, I sit with you once again. And with my final semester at Skidmore ahead of me, I wonder, “How can I ever honor you?”
Here it goes: a letter, an ode of sorts to my desk in the library.
Dear library desk,
Thank you for letting me spend hours poring over thousands of pages of reading, giving no one else the chance to sit there.
Thank you for being there as I wrote my very first college essay. I don’t even remember what it was about, only the fear I felt as the midnight deadline crept up on me.
I edited it over and over again, eventually emailing it to my mom for a final read. Don’t worry: this was the first and last time I asked my mother to proof my college work.
Thank you for letting me sit there, simply to fill 20 minutes between obligations by scrolling through LinkedIn for internships and jobs, and sometimes checking out clothing.
And when I’m not browsing sweaters, thank you for fostering a productive environment. Writer’s block or an afternoon slump? You were always there.
Thank you for letting me practically move in for finals season — arriving first thing in the morning with all of my possessions — bringing scarves to be worn as blankets, a large mug of coffee, my Skidmore water bottle, and a collection of pens and highlighters that always seem to go missing.
Remember when I would leave to go to the dining hall for what I intended to be short, 30-minute study breaks? Let’s be real: you and I both know this always turned into at least a two-hour, much-needed conversation with friends over many plates of food. (Thank you D-Hall!)
Speaking of food, thank you for letting me bring piles of snacks and never even wincing for the traces of cracker and granola bar crumbs that were left behind. I’d often return the next day with a slight sense of shame that I had disgraced you so. (Sorry to my cubicle mates for my crunching.)
Thank you for tolerating my presence even when I came down with bronchitis that one time. Tissue box in hand, I couldn’t stop sneezing and coughing on the silent third floor where even the drop of a pen feels like something to apologize for.
Thank you to the chair in the next cubicle for letting me prop up my feet when I got tired and when I broke my foot that time I fell off my bed on Chicken Finger Friday.
Thank you for forgiving me that one semester I left you cold and alone while I studied abroad in Italy. Please know, the desks there weren’t nearly as good as you.
And thank you to my unnamed friends studying nearby. You know who you are. We’re an army of desk protectors, welcoming invaders when we must, but doing so with a back turn and a sigh.
Supportive. Comfortable. Flexing to my every need. I am eternally grateful for my most loyal college companion and cannot wait to visit you for years to come.
After all this, you might be wondering where this legendary desk is.
Well, I’ll tell you. But please don’t sit there. (I’m kidding … sort of.)
First, enter the staircase by the circulation desk. This is an important step. If you take a different entrance you’ll end up walking in a weird loop. Walk up three flights, catch your breath and then continue to walk straight until you hit a dead end of cubicles. And there it is, tucked away against the wall, perpendicular from those spacious desks along the windows.
I will soon complete my final semester and, all too soon, prepare to graduate and leave this spot behind.
To whomever it may be that finds this desk next, take good care of it.
And I am really sorry if there are still some crumbs there.