After returning from a ten-day ski trip to Montana where I spent just as much time procrastinating school as I did skiing, my plate was looking pretty full for finals week.
Somehow, I managed to avoid the school library all semester. I’ve always chosen coffee shops over the library. Recently though, I’ve realized how much of a money suck coffee shops can be. Ten dollars down the drain per visit starts to add up quick as a college student. So, in the name of frugality, I decided to make a change and see what the Zimmerman library on campus is all about.
Upon entering the library, I was amazed. It felt as if I had entered a new world. The ceilings were so tall. The artwork on the walls, just mesmerizing. The lighting was neither brilliant nor sleepy, just perfect. There are different rooms throughout the Zimmerman library at UNM, each with different noise levels. As I descended further and further into the library, the noise continued to subside rapidly. It was like a museum of silence.
I’ll make one thing clear. I’m not a quiet person. My whisper is a talk, my talk is a yell, and my yell is a siren. I found my girlfriend (Brenna) in the very back of the library, in the ten-decibel room. I’ve never been familiar with decibels, so I had no idea what that meant. I did notice, the room was eerily quiet. Especially considering that the room was full of twenty year-old kids.
This day was one of my more prepared days. You know those days when you wake up fifteen minutes early and have time to pack snacks, finish your coffee, and even make the bed? It was one of those days. I was about five minutes into writing a paper which I should have started long ago, when I felt my stomach communicate to me. “What?” I whispered back angrily. “HUNGRYYYYYY,” my stomach grumbled at me. I unzipped my backpack and grabbed one of those snacks I so handily packed. After one bite I noticed my girlfriend Brenna snickering at me. My focus began to expand. With this expansion, I met glares and incredulous looks from just about everyone nearby. You see, I was eating the perfect apple, the kind of apple that’s crispy and juicy all at the same time. It hadn’t even crossed my mind that I had packed the loudest snack possible.
I removed my headphones slowly and tried to chew the rest of my bite, which still resided in my mouth. Yup, this was surely the loudest noise in the library, by a long shot. In fact, this was the only noise in the library. I starvingly glanced at my apple, which had many bites left. Right then I knew I had a decision to make.
I gazed at the sign upon my desk which read ‘ten decibels’. I decided to use Google and find out just how much ten decibels really is. Google informed me that the average person breathes at ten decibels. I immediately began to sweat. Since I’m far louder than the average person, this meant I wasn’t even allowed to breathe here. I was literally going to suffocate of silence. Then, with all eyes upon me, and to my girlfriend’s embarrassment. I finished that apple. All 100 decibels of it.
Cheers - BB