It was your average Monday at The Rott. I was sitting with Rudin Mucaj, with whom I was having an intense discussion concerning the consistency of The Rott noodles when another friend sat down and asked who was sitting in the seat to the left of Rudi. To this inquiry, Rudi replied: Zehr, Taylor (last name, first name).
It had begun. Rudi had been working at the Good Library for years and it was finally beginning to take over his persona. Rudin Mucaj was slowly becoming Mucaj, Rudin. His years of filing books under student names had left him unable to comprehend the structure of names outside of the library environment.
I’ve always been afraid of this: of my hobby or profession invading and becoming who I am. As somebody who works in computer science, I am often tempted to hiss at sunlight coming in through my windows in the morning, or feeling like I am obligated to say System.out.print before saying anything out loud.
For those whose computer science knowledge stops at Microsoft Paint, the Java programming language has you type System.out.print (“hello”) to print hello. So occasionally, after a few hours of coding, I’ve been concerned that I might run over to Java Junction after finishing a program and order “System dot out dot print : a Java Junk.”
Seriously, it can be a real problem. Just last week I was working out with a friend who is an exercise science major, and they actually commented on the degree at which I was bending my knees for a particular exercise. And I’m not talking 90 degrees or something that makes a lick of sense – they recommended that I angle my knees at slightly above 90 degrees. I have a hard time setting my TV volume to anything that doesn’t include a five or a zero at the end, and this guy expects me to slap a protractor to my knees mid workout?
All I’m saying is that when we finish our work, we leave it at home. It’s for the best. We shouldn’t be expected to handle the ins and outs of our majors or jobs all the time.
For example, the other day, a friend of mine who’s an art major asked me what kind of coffee I prefer. Like, leave the work at home, buddy. You’ll have plenty of time in your future job at Starbucks to ask that question.
So the next time your friend in journalism whips out their notepad when you’re talking smack about your roommate, slap it out of their hands and remind them to take it down a notch. The next time your volleyball-playing friend spikes your perfectly aimed crumpled-paper ball you shot at the waist bin, remind them that there is a place, and there is a time.
Sometimes I watch Mucaj, Rudin. I hope that one day, he’ll stop charging me late fees on the books I borrow from his personal collections. I hope that he’ll cut it out with reminding me that the library is 10 minutes from closing while we’re munching down on some Taco Bell back in the apartments. I hope that one day, he’ll go back to being just Rudi.
But if not, let him be a martyr – the last of his kind. We all have our passions, but let’s learn to sometimes leave them behind.