If you happen to be entering PCL early in the morning and you’re met at the doors by bleary-eyed, disheveled students exiting the building, it’s probably a good bet that it’s again finalstime at UT.
It also means that a combination of long hours poring over texts and notes from a full semester, a deficit of sleep and natural anxiety has created fertile loam for budding artistic expression in the form of doodles, badinage and a few outright masterpieces on the collection of whiteboards that are scattered across the library’s six floors.
Frank Meaker has continued to catalog these transitory works in his daily meanderings about PCL, and now that the end of the semester is nigh, we offer a selection of the spring’s finest examples via the Libraries Flickr page for your viewing enjoyment.
Crushing despair and anxiety has once again produced the perfect conditions for spontaneous creativity at PCL as the Fall semester comes to a close.
Frank Meaker has been at work again this year cataloging the random acts of artistic expression on the whiteboards throughout our flagship branch at the university as students nest for extended hours amongst the stacks in preparation for end-of-semester finals and projects.
Note the increase this year in motivational statements and encouragement from authors/artists to their fellow students. Sometimes shared suffering brings out the best in people, though we prefer to think that this is just in line with the character of the Longhorn community.
We’re in the thick of it again with the looming end of the semester and the approaching zero-hour for projects and exams driving long nights and early mornings around the Libraries.
That also signals the return of whiteboard art, the spontaneous creative fits resulting from a combination of stress, anxiety, exhaustion and some small degree of relief that the end – be it affirmative or not – is nigh.
You can view a slide show of the finer examples of this phenomenon captured by our own Frank Meaker at the University’s Know website or at the Libraries Flickr page.
BONUS STACKS DISCOVERY:
A student “settles in for the long haul” on 5th floor of the PCL.
The end of the school year can be a liberating time for much of the population of the university. Most students get an extended break from the rigors of learning, or they complete a successful college career and move on to the next phase of life. Faculty transition from honing lectures and grading papers to scholarly or research pursuits, or just take some time to recuperate from teaching consecutive semesters. And for staff it generally means shorter lines, less traffic and time to catch up on all the projects that went on the back burner during the school year.
This nascent liberation can sometimes spur creative bursts as there are the beginnings of a collective exhale across the campus. Being on the front lines as we are when the library becomes a strategic center for student end-of-year projects and finals, we sometimes get the opportunity to witness, or even document, this extraordinary behavior.