Monday, April 6, 2009

152.4 - Emotions & Feelings

According to the Dewey Decimal System, emotions and feelings are cataloged as 152.4. This is worth noting, because the CCHS Library is the most romantic place on earth. Assignations in the study carrels, conveniently next to the books pertaining to Emotions and Feelings (love) - 152.4, is where more established couples have regular study dates, occasionally having to be interrupted with a gentle warning when the books get pushed aside in favor of more - how do I phrase this - intimate studies.

Other examples of library love? Two students sitting in the stacks, side-by-side, reading quietly, elbows almost but not quite touching, gentle sparks filling the space between. Romance budding over books. There was recently a flirtation over the Scrabble board resulting in a fairly competitive game that required adjudication.
"Is faireth a word?"
"It is if I say 'you are the faireth in the land'."

Who am I to correct with "fairest" and toss the dictionary at them? She is thrilled that he thinks she is faireth, and he can't believe he worked up the courage to let her know he thinks she is pretty. You won't catch me challenging that one.

Working in a high school library includes being witness to all sorts of emotional upheaval. The girl who lasers her attention on a boy and before you know it, they are walking around hand-in-hand, the boy looking a little stunned. Or the guy who swaggers through the door with confidence and attitude, oblivious to shy glances from girls who believe they are invisible. Then there is the gay student who keeps a crush secret and close to the heart.

Sometimes it is darker. A knot of concerned friends huddled around a girl with red rimmed eyes and a damp tissue being slowly shredded in her hands is the sure harbinger of a romance that has hit the rocks. The boy conversely, is isolated, hands jammed in pockets, too angry to socialize. His friends give him distance. The emotions are raw, and incredibly powerful.

And now prom season is upon us. The stakes ratchet up as self-worth gets tossed into the human soup of hormones and anxiety. Will I get asked? Will she say "no"? What if I'm the only one without a date? Should I ask now, or is it too early? I've never been kissed....

The library is a refuge for students who come for work, relief, diversion, and sometimes, for sanctuary. It's tough being a teenager.

Going home in the evening I carry these stories with me, along with notes I have stuffed into various pockets throughout the day. Teacher requests, grocery items, meetings, a host of unrelated trivia. Sometimes my husband finds a stray note, and I find him puzzling over an item. "Burn journals?" he will ask. "Hiding the evidence?" (Actually, The Burn Journals is a book recommended by a student. I put it on our summer order.) My cryptic notes are usually good for a laugh.

Lots of 152.4 when I get home - but without the drama!

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

LOVE by Little Nora

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