On going to Starbucks to study

Pack up your things – phone, laptop, more books than you could possible use in two hours – and drive to the nearest location.

Quickly scan the shop, looking for the ideal place to sit and study: not too close to any chatty socialites, but also not too isolated, because a quiet corner is more easily disturbed by an annoyingly gabby teenage couple than a slightly noisy one.

Order your mint tea and ice water, and slowly walk through the shop, still looking for the perfect place. Notice an old man looking at you, and feel awkward because he probably thinks you’re looking at him, too.

Choose a table. Retrieve tea and water. (Try not to make eye contact with the old man). Settle into your work.

Begin to despair as, just when you’ve gotten into a steady groove, a talkative mom and screaming baby decide to sit at the table next to you. Feel slightly sympathetic for the mom, who is obviously embarrassed by her baby and tries to quiet him multiple times, but feel more annoyed.

Don’t panic. Tell yourself to stay calm. Open Pandora and say a silent prayer of thanks for your Sigur Ros station and noise-canceling headphones. Get back to work.

Feel the relief when mom and baby decide to take their business to the tables outside.

Spend your entire two hours studying an essay you’ve already read but still don’t quiet understand; make some progress, but still feel as if you’ve only scratched the surface.

Finish off your water. Write a blog about it all. Go home to lunch and your husband.


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