I work at the circulation desk in Clemons library, and it is definitely a tough job. I’ve only been working this shift for three minutes and I’m already exhausted. I have been fielding all sorts of inquiries- prospectives trying to find Peabody (You know the large black sculpture that looks like a…tree?), professors using their check-out privileges to rent all the seasons of Spongebob (Are these REALLY for you four year-old daughter), a grad student who asked me for salad dressing.
My favorite questions, though, come from the first years, new to the glorious kingdom that is my favorite library. Where is the water fountain? How do I print? Where are the books? I feel like supreme overlord of Clemons hallowed stacks, dolling out these nuggets of knowledge that further ingrain our newest students into daily life at UVa. They are are so beautifully oblivious to the fact that there are some days the printer simply eats $5.30 of your CavAd and you can’t do a damn thing about it. They love the silence of the first floor and don’t yet see it as a unique form of punishment. They are grateful for the vending machines, but have yet to use them as their primary form of sustenance on those days when walking to Newcomb for food simply takes too much time.
I [almost] wish I could go back to that simpler time and rediscover Clemons all over again. I felt similarly this summer while being an Orientation Leader; prior to July, I was convinced that I had met all the friends that I needed in my first two years here. I thought I had gleaned UVa for all that it had to offer me and it was impossible to love it any more than I already did. I was wrong. There is always something new to learn and someone new to meet, and there is something indescribably magical about watching others fall in love with the place that I have made my home.
Beyond checking out their books or directing them to the 3rd floor, I have the unique opportunity on StudCo to also introduce new students to art at UVa. Our Student Arts committee annually kicks of the semester with our Arts Advocates program- appointing a student in each dorm association with a particular passion for the arts to publicize the fantastic opportunities UVa has to offer (like the free tickets students have to nearly every show, or the amazing Final Friday events at the UVa Art Museum). We provide a weekly list of events, and encourage the Arts Advocates to tell their friends about them by doing things like organizing a trip or sending out emails. Personally, I cannot think of another time in my life when I will have this many free, unique, cultural, inspiring events at my fingertips…within walking distance…every weekend.
If you’re interested in being an Arts Advocate, we are accepting applications (www.uvastudentcouncil.com/arts-advocate-app) until September 16th. Let me know if you have any questions!
I think it’s probably time to pay attention to the desk now. There seems to be a line.