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Monday, May 21, 2007

Study Session 4: Starbucks

Where: Starbucks, W. 5th Ave. in Columbus, OH.
When: Monday May 21, 2007
Time: 1:30 pm

By far my most entertaining study session. This Starbucks has lots of seating. I put my bags at a table in the back corner while the kind barista made my drink. Best of all, I had a gift card so my drink was free.

When was drink was up I took it back to my table and hooked my laptop in. I like to type my notes out. I also figured they had Wi-Fi but when I looked for a connection nothing looked like Starbucks so I didn't risk it. By the way, secure your network if you do the whole Wi-Fi thing. Anyway...I happily typed, read, and quizzed myself for quite a while.

From the time I arrived there was an older man sitting next to the counter, reading. Randomly, he stands up and says to the girls working there: "Well, you all so loud that I can't concentrate!" They were grinding coffee. In a coffee shop. What is the world coming to? He stomped out after the girls apologized for grinding coffee.

Next came the foreign exchange students. They sat next to me and spoke Portugeuse. I liked hearing the accents but it was distracting. You can't help but wonder if they're making fun of you in their language. After they left, all was quiet again.

I was sitting next to a window and decided to stare outside for a while. There was a guy sitting right outside the window on Starbuck's little patio. He was picking his nose. Yeah, yeah we all do it but this was in public, on a busy street and he was really going at it. It was kind of gross.

Toward the end of my study session, came the loud cell phone talker. Had Seinfeld been on at the height of cell phones, there surely would have been a character called "Loud Cell Phone Talker". I don't have a problem with people sitting and talking on their cell phones but it is so uncomfortable when they are talking about personal topics. Just don't do it. This poor lady was begging---BEGGING---her girlfriend to meet her at Starbucks. This same lady had been working on her laptop and kept turning it on and off. Annoying. Glad I'm not her girlfriend.

Starbuck's Grade: 3.75/5
Bottom line: Good coffee, nice staff, pretty quiet, eccentric patrons

Study Session 3: Grandview Heights Public Library

Where: Grandview Heights Public Library in Columbus, OH.
When: Wednesday May 16, 2007
Time: 1:30 am

I was not quite finished studying for the day after I left ODU's library. I made my way to the Grandview Heights Public Library. This was a mistake.

Being quite familiar with this location, I knew to go to the Quiet Room. The Quiet Room was great at first. Other than myself, 2 other students were doing work and another person was reading. Nice a quiet. For a while.

Library Offense #1: Loud children Okay. The kid was all of 3 or so. She was running and yelling around the bookshelves next to the Quiet Room. Her mother did not to teach her that libraries are a place for quiet. This went on for far too long until they left.

Library Offense #2: Sleepers I don't think you're supposed to sleep at the library but I couldn't care less most of the time. Unless you snore. And did this guy snore! He sat in the Quiet Room, reading for a while. Then he fell asleep and snorred. I couldn't take it and went home.

Grandview Heights Public Library Grade: 2/5
Bottom Line: Weirdos, noise, free range children

Study Session 2: Ohio Dominican University

Where: Ohio Dominican University, Spangler Learning Center in Columbus, OH.
When: Wednesday May 16, 2007
Time: 9:00 am

Since the regular school session is over parking was a breeze for a change. I met up with a few friends who are also suffering with the PRAXIS II on June 9. Spangler Learning Center is ODU's library and I'm pretty certain it is the loudest library in the world. Not only are classes going on in this building but the instructors insist on leaving the doors wide open. There are also staff offices inside the library and they too leave their doors wide open. I know far too much about ODU's accounting department thanks to this open door policy.

On this particular day, there were a few people in the library but very few. My friends and I spent at least an hour just complaining about school, grades, teachers, tests, and everything else. It quickly dawned on me that studying with friends is a huge distraction. On the plus side, when we got focused, I printed a 150 page PRAXIS study guide on ODU's printers for free. Well, maybe not for tuition bill is huge.

My friends and I made our way to the top floor's study room and found lots of helpful PRAXIS study guides. This room is in the back so it was pretty quiet...except for us.

ODU's Grade: 3.5/5
Bottom Line: Noisy

Study Session 1: Caribou Coffee

Where: Caribou on Grandview Ave. in Columbus, OH.
When: Tuesday May 15, 2007
Time: 10:30 am

I was able to find parking right in front of the door which was nice since I was carrying a huge bag of textbooks. I went in and did not have to wait in line to order my coffee. Also nice. I ordered some sort of iced coffee concoction for $3.50. Who said studying is cheap?

When my order was up, I took it to a large table near the windows. There were only about 4 other people there so I had my pick of seats. I felt kind of guilty about taking a big table just for myself but I had tons of books.

Really nothing eventful here at all. All the patrons were studying or doing some kind of work so there were really no distractions. I was seated next to the back entrance so occasionally people would come in and out but overall this was a great place to study. However, if I'd come later in the evening I suspect I would not have found a seat so easily nor would it have been so quiet.

Caribou's Grade: 4.5/5
Bottom Line: Quiet, good seating, expensive coffee.


In my quest to be a teacher, I have encountered countless tests. On June 9 is the Big One: The PRAXIS II. If I don't pass, I don't get my license so this test is important to me.

For the past few weeks I have been studying pretty much all day. Studying for a test like this requires that you understand how you learn and the environment in which you study is important.

I have learned that I cannot study at home. If I try to study at home I am sure to find something else to do: dishes, laundry, walk the dog, video get the idea. The library might seem like an obvious place to study but libraries are loud these days and have turned into free babysitters. I have been forced on the quest of finding the perfect study location...