The Quest of a (Clueless) College Student

Mission: Read The Outsiders for Adolescent Literature

Problem: I don’t have The Outsiders

Solution: Rent The Outsiders from the library

Piece of cake, right?

Wrong.

Attempt #1

My first attempt to the solution was ideal: rent the book from the college library. So after class, I calmly walked into the eerily-quiet library, completely overwhelmed by the unfamiliarity of the place. Not knowing where exactly to begin looking, I meekly asked the work-study library attendant if the library had any young adult literature.

His response was, “Oh, is this your first semester on campus?”

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Oye.

Only having gone into the college library a handful of times, as a fourth-semester student, I could only muster an uncomfortable “No” in return to his blunt question. After the awkwardness had somewhat diminished, he politely directed me towards the online card catalog where I was left alone to search for the book. Much to my dismay, the library didn’t house the book, but they did have the movie to rent!

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Hm…so tempting.

Knowing that my guilty conscious would envelop my entire being if I detoured actually reading the book, I hastily left the college’s library and began developing another plan.

Attempt #2

I really hoped my second attempt wouldn’t be as disastrous as my first attempt and in five minutes I was standing outside of the town’s public library. At approximately 3:30 pm, the library buzzed with teenagers who just finished their school day. A group of boys stood in a mob, with peering and suspecting eyes, outside of the building. Jeesh, I thought. I’m not the one who looks like a criminal here. I simply entered the building, resisting the urge to defend myself and put those suspecting eyes in their rightful place.

Having been to the library before, I knew the general region where the teen reading section was located. When I walked into the small room, four wide-eyed girls stared at me.

Oh great, an audience.

After rummaging through a few shelves, I could not grasp how the shelves were arranged and organized. Numbers with decimals points and short-handed letters fluttered through my mind and suddenly I began feeling weak and vulnerable. Exhausted from my quest-in-progress, I desperately wanted to throw the towel in right there, in the middle of the teen reading lounge. Yet, perseverance and determination became a greater force and I put on my big girl pants to muster up the courage and ask for help. It couldn’t hurt anyway, when I already looked like a completely crazed lunatic, frantically searching the teenage reading shelves.

Having not seen a library desk attendant when I walked in, I decided to ask the closest person to me, which really didn’t seem like a bad option. The girls in the teen lounge seemed to be very familiar with this section. Who else would hang out in the teen reading section on a Monday afternoon?

“Excuse me. Do you know where I can find The Outsiders?” I managed to ask.

The girls enthusiastically jumped up and, before I knew it, were quickly at my side, nonchalantly chatting away. One girl commented on how great the book was, while another girl offered help. After they told me I should really use the card catalog, I must have looked completely helpless because one of the girls walked me over to the computer.

I carefully typed “The Outsiders. S.E. Hinton” into the search bar and Viola! The library had the book in stock! However, when I looked at the location listed, I frowned as I read the following: Teen, Paperback. Well, I obviously already knew it would be located in the teen section, I just didn’t know where. The card catalog didn’t list any numbers or letters that correlated to the shelves.

Seeing no other option, I put my pride aside and I returned to the girls. Despairingly, I asked for their assistance once again. Thankfully, the girls didn’t seem to mind my cluelessness and they graciously found a library assistant to help me. Like a well-rehearsed musical, the assistant flawlessly walked straight to the shelf and miraculously pulled out The Outsiders!

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I expressed my gratitude to the assistant and the girls and bid them goodbye.

When I reached the front desk to check the book out, I dusted off the library card that I haven’t used in years and handed it over to the woman.

“Due in two weeks,” she warmly said as she handed the book to me.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I walked out of the library and to my car, with only two thoughts in my head:

1) I really should have paid more attention in school when they taught us how to use the card catalog.
2) Mission accomplished!

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1000 Awesome Things #280 When little kids get really, really excited. 2011. WordPress. Web. 26 Jan 2013.
<http://1000awesomethings.com/2011/03/25/280-when-little-kids-get-really-really-excited/&gt;
funny baby face. theNumber1Web. 26 Jan 2013. http://www.thenumber1.com/Rate_my_funny_face/funny_baby_face.
http://www.crazytownblog.com/.a/6a012876c6c7fb970c014e887d8142970d-popup
Learning Difficulties of Color Blindness. 2010. EduGuideWeb. 26 Jan 2013. http://www.eduguide.org/library/viewarticle/36.

 

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