I remember my parents yelling the words, "would you just give me some peace and quiet!" As a young lad, I thought that it was a particular statement in which the tone of the presentation contradicted its original meaning. Now, as I reflect, it seems like I was just a jerky little kid. My parents weren’t stating; they were pleading. They only screamed because I was an incredibly LOUD child. For example, I would wake up on a Saturday morning around 5 a.m., flip on my mini-45 of "Star Wars" (by Storyteller), run into my parents room, jump on their bed, turn on cartoons (usually "Voltron") and laugh at my guardians’ bewildered faces.
Yeah, I was an obnoxious, hyper kid. But now, a senior in college, I’m beginning to get the point. This is the first year that I’ve lived on campus. Let me tell you something: IT’S NOISY! I never could have imagined how paper thin the walls in a campus apartment could be. Seriously, they have the same density as the one-ply toilet paper that the university so graciously supplies to its students. If somebody in one of the "living boxes" decides to use the bathroom, the entire building section that surrounds their little abode is treated to the experience. If someone decides to enjoy some Weezer, all of the surrounding apartments get to enjoy Weezer (which isn’t all that bad).
Last week, however, I was trying to study for a test and I just couldn’t handle the brilliant lyrics to "El Scorcho," accompanied by a garbage disposal and the complete, shower-sung version of "How You Remind Me" by Nickelback. So, in attempt to regain my sanity, I packed up and headed for the library that SPU has so graciously built for its students. It was a dire quest for peace.
I found my blissful solitude–right (and Al Gore is an engaging orator). You’d like to think that, for once, Isaac had an uneventful time and, therefore, had absolutely nothing to complain about. Perhaps I’m ultra-sensitive. Maybe I’m being punished for torturing my parents. Whatever the case may be, I did not have a studious experience at the library that night.
I entered the library, walked up the stairs to the top floor, and had a seat in one of the far corners. I was by myself. Not a soul around. I began to read. Now–and this is the really eerie part–after 10 minutes of quiet, everyone who could possibly be bothersome decided to gravitate toward the corner of the library that I occupied. I was quickly subjected to harassing hummers, galling gossipers and malicious masticators. Oh, the masticators … they were the worst. One guy sat on my left, scarfing a bag of Doritos while a human of the female gender sat to my right, popping her gum at an incredible rate of speed (how do people do that? Maybe it’s genetic). So I moved to the second floor. Lo and behold, after a few minutes, the same group became suddenly interested in theological research and formed a strategic circle around me. Out came the chatterers, the hummers and the masticators. Oh, those chomping villains! I went crazy. I threw my books to the floor, jumped to my feet and screamed, "why must you torture me? You’re bringing my academic career to a grinding halt!"
And there it was: I had become one of them. As security escorted me out of the library, stacks of paper falling through the air, rubber stamps bouncing from wall to marble-paneled wall, bookshelves toppling like a row of well-placed dominoes, I thought to myself, "what I wouldn’t give for a bit of peace and quiet."
I’m not sure what was going on that evening. Perhaps my attackers-of-the-peace were sadistic communication students conducting their sick experiments on the effects of "norm violation." Perhaps I’m insane. Though we may try for years, in vain, to understand the events of that chaotic night, one thing is very clear: I haven’t a solid argument. I will say this however: if you continue to read past this editorial, please do so in silence.
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Title: Silence is a precious commodity | Author: Issac Blackstock | Section: Opinions | Published Date: 2002-02-27 | Internal ID: 2522