1. Always substitute the uncomfortable wooden chair at your table for one of the more comfortable computer chairs. No one will mind that you have rendered that computer useless. Your back already hurts from lugging 80 lbs of books up from the depths of the C floor. You deserve a chair on wheels. Just make sure you take the most circuitous route around the room from the computer terminal to your seat. You may then use the wooden chair in order to store your books.
2. Once you have reserved your spot at a table, never actually sit there and work productively. Arrange all your books across the table (taking up at least two spots), and then disappear for hours at a time. It doesn’t matter if you go to collect more books or simply to Small World to sip lattes with the stressed out graduate students, but actually sitting at your computer-chair-supported seat is absolutely unacceptable.
3. If you do insist on working while in the Trustees Room, there are various ways to make this more acceptable:
4. Bring your own artificial light source. The bright sun light streaming through the embossed ceiling-high windows couldn’t possibly be bright enough, so it is important to bring an electric desk lamp to further take up room on the table and supplement the light.
5. Bring a book holder. Supporting your own books is far too much work, and as we already mentioned, you are exhausted from lugging your books throughout the library already.
6. Bring a diversion. Knitting is the activity of choice for most Trustee Room frequenters. This coordinates well with the book rack, as you can glance at your Arabic readings from time to time as you count the purls on the scarf you’re making for your Eastern European boyfriend.
7. Take a nap. When all else fails, you can always fall asleep while sitting up. At least your book holder will create a façade of productivity for all those auditors hanging out, eyeing your three hour reserve course reading.
8. Be sure to leave your cell phone on. The best case scenario is when you are working on one of the computers, and you boyfriend calls when you have left your phone up in the skybox where you are working. The best way to handle this situation is to run across the room in your heels, getting to the phone just as “Hey Ya” reaches its chorus.
9. When listening to your music through your headphones (specifically those I-Pod earphones which barely rest in your ears), make sure that the volume is turned up aggressively loud. The preferable music type is Progressive House, or something with a similarly intense beat. It’s very Euro and cosmopolitan, and extremely irritating to those sitting next to you.
10. If obnoxious undergraduates get too flustered about their silly JPs or term papers, look up from your advanced mathematics and give them your best evil eye until they return to the 300 level of Frist where they belong.