There is a kind of special scent in the night that lures me into going back home late. Peace is the absence of chatter and footsteps, the winding down of another long day.
I remember spending long hours in the library researching for my assignments, wishing fervently that it could be open until midnight like at most universities. The organic design and warm lights surrounded by the dark red walls bring perfect ambience for an ideal bookworm. It is one of my favorite locations at school, where I take a breather from classes, park myself in my usual spot in the reference room, and work quietly. You can find me there 10 minutes before my lessons, doing final editing of my piece, or immersed in writing essays after dinner. At times, I look up to see friends joining me with warm smiles on their faces. Taking breaks, my sight sometimes settles on the towering rows and columns of shelves fortified around me. I fondly recall borrowing one score with yellowed pages but sadly, without any stamp on it. I do feel sad for the percentage of books and scores that are still left untouched over the years, never being perused. But at least they are comfortably sheltered where they are, protected and loved before someone opens them in the future.
The glass windows beside the Liberal Arts office on the fifth floor offer great sunset views during evenings. At my lowest, I feel strong again just by looking outside, a temporary relief when I am too lethargic to leave the building. Scanning the movement of pedestrians and vehicles below is like cloud-watching, with the same, full consciousness of letting time pass without consequence and worry. Rushed lunches, last minute homework, recuperative slumber, and heart-to-heart exchanges are best reserved for this “shelter,” where personal space and privacy can transpire.
Another place I miss now that we are all scattered abroad, is the Juilliard bookstore! Contrary to popular belief, I actually find stronger attraction to the colorful gadgets and miscellaneous items than the scores and books in the store. They are so striking the moment I walk in! I love looking at the instrument keychains, the wide array of CDs, and even the varied Juilliard hoodies hanging up on the rack. They have really cute designs, one of them being composer stickers, which include little miniature drawings of Bach, Schumann, Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, etc. I bought a Wagner one and now it’s pasted on my laptop.