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October 28, 2013


Studying. Socially.


One of the dirty little secrets of blogging is that some of the time (read: most of the time) you have very little idea what to write about.  After all, everything in your life is interesting to you - you’re the coolest, right? – but it can’t possibly all be interesting to every Tom, Dick, and prospective Clark student that comes your way.  So you have to sit and think about things that are both (a) in your life, and therefore deeply interesting to you and (b) potentially interesting to the readers of this blog.  Sometimes, that’s very hard.  Other times, the answer is right in front of you.  Tonight, the answer was right in front of me.

The picture you see at the top of this post – the one you scrolled past but are just now heading back up to take a look at and … you’re back – is a picture of where I’m sitting right now, at 8:49 pm on Sunday evening.  It’s also called the Academic Commons.  Clarkies call it the AC.  It’s my favorite spot on campus.  It’s open twenty-two hours a day (closed 6-8 am) and is packed every single day of the week, with the possible exception of Friday and Saturday nights.  It’s also the only place in the library where you can talk in a normal voice and not be given dirty looks.  It has a coffee shop, comfy couches, big tables, and lots of Clarkies.  In short, it’s a place to study socially.

That was a lot about why this is my favorite place.  Why is this cool for you, the prospective Clark student?  Because you’re going to need to learn how to work in groups, and work well in groups.  And I get it.  Group projects usually suck.  One person takes on all of the work and gets everything done, and everyone else in the group learns nothing at all while slipping further down the path to inconsequence.  But the thing is, group work is really important.  And it’s particularly important for our generation, where absolutely everything is connected.  It’s no longer good enough to be able to do superb work on your own.  You have to be able to rely on the diverse and multidimensional talents of those around you, and learn to bring out the best in them.

That’s where the AC comes in handy.  The rest of the library is based around the old learning model: you go upstairs, get a book, sit down at a tiny table, and start writing.  The AC is built for the 21st century, and it’s built for what Clark knows we have to get better at: group work.  It also has hot coffee, and that’s no bad thing.

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