Greg has a nickname for me. Cranky. I like to think of it as a term of endearment, but I'm afraid the truth is that it's just a description of the mood I am in 90% of the time. This week has been worse than ever. Perhaps it's being back at school, getting less sleep, feeling the pressure of expectations and performance anxiety. Whatever the case, my general crankiness has escalated into quasi-violent rage.
The primary object of my irritation is the ubiquity of Ipods on college campuses. I know, I know, I sound like that awful guy from 60 Minutes who concludes each episode with a tone-deaf rant against some subject that generally falls under the category of "kids today." Well guess what. I don't care.
My school, Temple University, has 34,000 students. That's larger than most small towns. While I appreciate the benefits of being part of such a large school, the simple fact is that there is nowhere you can go for a quiet moment. There is always a line, everywhere: the bathrooms, the printers, the coffee carts, the elevators. Getting anywhere or doing anything takes 15-20 minutes longer than it should because of the mass of bodies you have to fight through. And when every single person on campus has "ear buds" (terrible phrase) in his or her ears, and can't hear you saying "excuse me," it's even worse.
I could go into a philosophical meditation here on community and individualism and the danger of total disconnect from the world that develops when people have their own private soundtrack pumping all day and no incentive to chat with those around them, but I won't. Because, again, I don't care. I just want to get to class, and you are in my way.