Monday, May 14, 2007

Studying, or Not, in Cafe and Library

Kristen has already linked to it, but as the end of the semester in the Czech Republic nears, I too point my readers to The Panopticon, where Franklin encounters a ludicrously rude (and seemingly also stupid) college student in his local cafe.
In Prague, cafes have not been taken over by students; students can be seen here and there (myself included), but they do not take up the majority of the space, or even a quarter of it. This is as it should be (not that I am opposed to a given cafe being student-oriented versus another being over-60 oriented). In Prague, I am pleased to say, most cafes have a very mixed clientele and it is normal to have a wide variety of ages and activities underway from table to table. If things get too distracting for me, I point out to myself that I could be in the library (quiet but no food) or at home (quiet but with other distractions).
It is, however, that heavy-duty study time of year and one needs to get to the library early in order to find a seat near an outlet. Students in Prague are much more polite than American students, but they do tend to camp out at their spots all day long whether they themselves are physically present or not, and often one does see them doing something other than study on their laptops. Still, I think most of them will probably end up competent to remove my gallbladder should the need arise.

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