I Think Something Died in Perkins

There’s been this vile stench in Perkins library for a couple days now. You don’t get a whiff until you’re near the cafe, but right when you’re about to enter the library it hits you. The smell only gets worse as you walk further in, going away once you reach the other floors, but near the entrance or sitting anywhere on the first floor- you will smell it. Calling the odor unpleasant would be a compliment. It smells like an animal died in some broom closet and the constant rain and cold is permeating the smell all around. Yet the craziest part? People are sitting there, quietly, doing their work, writing their papers, studying for their finals.


Maybe I just have sensitive smell… but to sit there and study for a final exam or write your ten page research paper while inhaling the noxious fumes that was present in Perkins seems insane. Is that what finals does to students? You realize that you are already so over your head with papers and exams that you subject yourself to sit and “smell the roses”… or lack thereof? Do students just have their “place” of study so ingrained that to go work anywhere else would be unthinkable? Maybe it’s just coincidence that it’s finals week and the library decides to smell so foul and students would’ve worked there during a non-finals time, too. But maybe not?


Is it the environment of this university that causes students to feel the necessity to work, and work, and work -so stressed out? Is it the Duke standard to be so engrossed in your work to not realize that outside of this Gothic Wonderland there is more than tests, quizzes, internships and exams? Are Duke students, or even college students in general pushed to the maximum limit when it comes to the end of the semester?
Finals week is stressful. It’s hard, all-consuming of your time, energy, and patience. But don’t get lost in the stress of it. So lost that you are sitting in the first floor of Perkins working on your projects and your papers encompassed by the smell of a dead animal.