The Constitution of McLennan

Graphic courtesy of author

Alas, finals have come and gone. Most of us got a break from the stinging cold of winter in Montreal; we have cleared our heads, surpassed 4 hours of sleep per night, and now we’re back where we belong and determined not to make the same mistakes and experience the epic failures of last semester. We are born-again academic protégé’s, ready to take the world by storm. Instead of the -25 degree weather (without wind chill), you should be afraid of us.

While you and I both know that neither of us will ever do the optional readings for Religions of Ancient Israel, no matter how enticing the subject matter, there are some life changes that are absolutely essential to implement in 2019.

It’s new year, new us until around halfway through the first week of January; in a devastating turn of events, when we realize that most New Year’s Resolutions are, pardon my French, irréaliste. While you and I both know that neither of us will ever do the optional readings for Religions of Ancient Israel, no matter how enticing the subject matter, there are some life changes that are absolutely essential to implement in 2019.

After spending two weeks straight in the same section of McLennan, I may have developed hypersensitivity to other people’s actions within the walls of what is essentially a giant cement holding cell in the middle of campus. It wasn’t an eye-opening and deeply moving learning experience on many levels. And so fellow students, faculty members, and visitors from Concordia and across the globe, it is an absolute honour to present to you: The Constitution of McLennan.

1. FOOD – I am not about to advocate for a food-free McLennan. We need brain power; radish with ranch dip from PM, Ruffles from the vending machine, chocolate covered pretzels on a good day. I’m all for it. All I ask is two simple favours: no stinky, no crunchy. I know I don’t need to elaborate, but just so we’re all on the same page here: I understand getting a salad that involves some capers (out of absolute desperation) or salmon. This is a safe space and we will pass no judgement. But please do not actively seek out tuna, hard boiled eggs, or a stalk of celery (celery was invented as a garnish for Caesars, by the way). And please, apple picking season is over, leave the Granny Smith at home. On a similar note, I’m not sure if the community at large how knows about the “no hot food” in the library rule , or if it will be continuously enforced in the new semester. However, it has in fact been confirmed that if you order a cold dish, such as a salad or a slaw, no rules have been broken.

Disclaimer: McLennan security may ask to touch your food for temperature. They’re just here to protect us. Non-threatening library snacks may include but are not limited to: apple sauce, plain tofu, juicy fruit gum.

And please, apple picking season is over, leave the Granny Smith at home.

2. TYPING – I’m not trying to knit-pick here or be melodramatic, but I can’t think of anything worse than a loud typist. You know who you are. This is a library, not a nightclub; quiet down.

3. PERSONAL HYGIENE – Despite the fact that the library temperature sits at a crisp 7 degrees Celsius, the air does circulate and aromas (like your Nicoise salad) can hit you harder than finding out attendance counts during Add/Drop. Finals and midterms are tough times for all, but personal hygiene is mandatory. You may think you’re sneaky; “Perhaps nobody will notice”, you tell yourself. But we know who you are, Denise in graduate carrel #1407. And for heaven’s sake, please keep your shoes on.

4. SOCIAL GATHERINGS – A small chat with a friend – preferably related to academia in order to maintain the vibes – is fine, but the library is no place for laughter.

5. PDA – While you may think that this one is self-explanatory, some duos just do not seem to get it. The library is no place for hugging, or worse, smooching. Please keep physical contacts to handshakes and/or silent high-fives.

6. Premiere Moisson – Private message me for directions to the closest Tim Hortons.

So there you have it, folks. Cherish it, study it, become one with it. Keep it on your night-table next to your Juul and your phone. In fact, sleep with it under your pillow, because this may be the most important piece of literature you will read not only during your McGill career, but in your life.

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