latin chrome

My photo
in⋅vo⋅ca⋅tion: (n) the magic formula used to conjure up a spirit; incantation.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

the crazy woman from the library

I know I have written extensively about how the Sciences Po library doesn't have any resources, how there are countless books you cannot check out or that you have to wait up to two days to receive, or how it's hot, smelly, or how there are not enough places for students to study, or maybe how its staff refuses to acknowledge their own mistakes and blame them on you (a French trend, actually) etc, etc, but today, I write about something the library does not have many of and that is crazy people.

By this, I mean actually crazy people, or even hobos.

Back in 2007, Penn's library was frequented by a hobo who took the 4th floor movie rooms as his private quarters. I remember walking into one of the rooms to watch a movie for my film studies class and there was a man, with a number of plastic bags all over the floor, sleeping on the floor. I left the room and asked the student who worked there if I could have another room because someone seemed to be sleeping in there.

"He's still here?," she asked me, with a terrified look in her face. I said yes. She then said he had been coming over lately, so I asked her why they don't get him to leave. She said the library staff had tried but that the man had been violent and that there had been many incidents with him.

It's not that I want to be mean to hobos, but are you kidding me? I couldn't use a library facility because a hobo had taken it up as his private residence! I don't know if the university ever dealt with that. The university has to ask him to leave and if they do not ask him to because they are concerned with him, then they should set up a help center or something of the like.

ANYWAY, there are not many of those cases here at Sciences Po, from my experience. However, there is a rcazy woman who comes here almost everyday.

I've spotted her various times. She's of African descent, she wears like a towel wrapped around her head. She is always wearing a long coat, no matter how hot it is inside, or how warm the weather is outside. She is always wearing it. Then, she is always carrying a big shopping bag with herself. A purse and that shopping bag. On various occasions, I've seen her place that bag in the most inconvenient place, like in a corner where it obviously crosses the border into a student's working area. I figured that because she can get on the computers - which is all she does - that she must have a Sciences Po ID, but it is bizarre because this lady does not look like a student, she must be like 35-40, and she does not look like a teacher. I've never seen her check out books or anything. All she does is go online. She always looks like she rolled out of bed and came to check her email. She also stays here for hours on end!

But, the most bizarre part of it all is the fact that this lady is always carrying an empty plastic bag around her hand. When she finds a computer, she sits down, wraps the plastic bag around her hand, and types with it. What I don't understand is that she doesn't use two plastic bags for each of her hands...she only uses one for her right hand. She makes so much noise when she's typing because of that plastic bag! Is it fear of getting an infection or touching something that everyone else has touched that has led her to do this?!

If so, why would she only cover one of her hands and not both? Also, why the hell would she come to a library where there are a million students, all who could be carrying life-threatening diseases that could be spread with a single cough?!

To be honest, it also pisses me off, if she's not a student or a teacher, because she's using up our resources. The library barely even has seats for the people who go here, I don't know if computer access should be given to people who should be using it at home. There are cyber cafes everywhere, you know.

In any case, can she get her plastic bag away from here so that I can focus?!


  1. Haha I was always wondering who this women might be. Anyhow one day I decided to ask her, because I took quite a liking of her odd behaviour. She didn't reply though and now I am even more confused.

  2. LOL Ben, seeing that wrote here made me really happy!! You asked her who she was?!?! and she didnt reply?!? I am super confused. An update, she has a lot of paper in her one of her bags. Its bizarreeee!