Tea at the Library (aka-Swemming as a contact sport)

To those of you who don’t know, the library at my college is named Swem. Don’t ask me why, it was probably some donor or other (that’s how all the other buildings on campus got their names anyways). So, the joke has been since my mother went here 30 years ago that going to the library is going Swemming. It’s actually one of the most popular hang out spots on campus. Not that we all particularly want to be here, but we’re all neurotic enough that staying up until 2am doing homework at the library seems like a good idea. I mean how else are you supposed to print things when your roommate is already in bed? The computers here also have duel sided printing capabilities-perfect for printing for my creative writing class (speaking of which, I heard back on Satan in a Christmas Tree. They loved the opening and ending scenes, and gave me tons of ideas as to how to improve upon the story.)

Starting either a semester or two ago, I’ve been spending a lot of time here in the library. Mostly because of the history and religion courses I’ve been taking. Unlike English courses they require a bunch of extra curricular reading when one does a paper for them. Unfortunately I have a tendency of getting to the library after peak time. This means that most of the prime spots are already taken. Finding a place to study can be a pain when you arrive at say 9pm or 10pm instead of earlier in the evening. I’ve had to sit on the floor before in order to be close enough to an outlet to plug in my laptop.

Another good reason to get to Swem early is Starbucks. I’m sure anyone who regularly stays up until all hours of the morning can tell you that tea is your friend about 1:30am. Especially if you want to be sounding anything like coherent in whatever you happen to be writing at the time. While it will do, the vending machine tea definitely leaves something to be desired. Its tea concentrate that’s blended when it’s poured, and always tastes like it’s just about burnt. Starbucks tea is much better (you get an actual teabag too!) but it means you have to get there before they close at 10pm. That just happens to be when I get off work on Tuesdays. I have good tea today. Hopefully it will help me get my prospectus done in good time (even though I am currently procrastinating by writing a blog).

On another note, I finally bit the bullet and joined the forum on Robin McKinley’s blog. I am no longer a nameless lurker. I am now a lurker with a name! Or something like that. I’m still waiting to be approved by the moderator. Hopefully they won’t find me too creepy to admit.
Update! I’ve been accepted. Evidently I fooled them (haha, joke).

Remember, it’s not polite to elbow people when trying to get a table at the library.

Comments are appreciated. They make me feel loved.



  1. Oh college life! I remember it fondly!

    Just remember don’t fall asleep on the chairs, keyboard marks on your face take a while to fade!

  2. Swem Library is actually named for Earl Gregg Swem who served as College Librarian from 1920-1944. More about Dr. Swem is available from the Special Collections Wiki at http://scrc.swem.wm.edu/wiki/index.php/Earl_Gregg_Swem. Dr. Swem was not a significant donor of funds, but gave more in the way of not only years of service as well as his research and papers. These are part of the collections in the Special Collections Research Center.

    1. Ah, I see. That actually makes a lot of sense. It’s good to know at least one of them is named for merit rather than money (though I shouldn’t forget about Sadler Center).

      Out of curiosity, how did you find my blog?

  3. Your blog popped up in the Google Alert I have for “Swem,” which I set up so that I can be sure to catch any news stories about the library. Sorry if it seems like I am intruding!

    And actually, other buildings including Ewell, Millington, Rogers, Jones, James Blair, and I am sure I am forgetting a couple others are named to honor long-time faculty who were not necessarily significant financial donors. Of course, some would say that the low salaries historically received by William and Mary faculty and staff make past and present major givers to the university. There is more on campus buildings and who they are named for on the SCRC Wiki at http://scrc.swem.wm.edu/wiki/index.php/Category:College_of_William_and_Mary_Buildings.

    1. I’ve said before that I don’t mind intrusions for things like facts, especially when I’m getting them wrong. I suppose I was thinking of a few specific buildings, like McGlothlin-Street or the Muscarelle.

      Also, I had no idea we had our own wiki. I shall now waste some time cruising it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s