Sunday, March 02, 2008

Have you ever noticed

that when I talk about going to the library I rarely, if ever, say that I am going to the School of Ed library? Let me paint a mental picture for you: Imagine, if you will (you don't have to close your eyes because then you couldn't read the post):

you are standing in your elementary school library. It's small, it's cozy, it smells faintly like canned peas. There are tables and chairs at various places. There are librarians admonishing you to be quiet. The chairs are all made of wood and slightly uncomfortable because they force you to have good posture no matter how long you have been sitting there. There are virtually no electrical outlets (because how many 6-year olds bring a laptop to the library).

Get the picture? Good because that is the library of one of the top-rated education schools in the country. Clearly it's not top-rated because of its library. And it should be perfectly clear why I rarely study there. I mean seriously, who wants to spend hours and hours in a place that smells like canned peas? Certainly not me.

Referring back to my irritation about the dearth of library hours yesterday, I decided to check out the hours at the business school, health center, and law school. Of course they are all open for the majority of the day, and, for that matter night. So Ms. A, my dissertation wife, picked me up at 10 am to the law library. Oh friends, it is beautiful. Leather chairs, big tables, individual reading lamps. Wood paneled walls filled with giant law books. If I weren't nearly finished with my dissertation I might go to law school. It's that beautiful.

But then I think about my social justice agenda and realize that higher ed, while not as economically beneficial, is where my heart is. But one day, just one day, I would like to walk into an ed school that is as beautiful as a law or business school. After all, don't our future educators deserve it?

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