As I started my freshman year at UT, I almost daily passed the Renaissance tapestry to settle into a study carrel of the Undergraduate Library where I could look out at rows of students at tables and carrels or turn to look at the ever-present pigeons outside the windows. For a break I might go upstairs and look at the Earle Stanley Gardner desk and typewriter. There was also an audio lab where I could request headphones and a music selection. Constant student traffic and the appealing diversions, however, made the Undergraduate Library a less than ideal spot to study.
I took my books and wanderlust on a campus tour trying to find the perfect place to study. While I never found it, I did enjoy the shade of trees, bird songs, and vistas from grand staircases. I also discovered a wealth of libraries. I remember studying in the following at some point in my tenure as a student:
- The Physics and Math Library
- The Engineering Library
- The Chemistry Library
- The Catholic Student Center Library
- The Art Library
- The Geology Library
- The Communications Library
- The Reference Room of the Main Library
- The Library School Library in the Harry S. Ransom Center
- The Perry Castenada Library (which became the new main library when I was a graduate student)
There may have been more libraries that I do not now remember. I did not spend much time in my room. Instead, I was out looking for an open table, comfortable chair, quiet, and academic atmosphere - a place that fit my romantic desire for scholastic immersion.
The tower is now the Science Library, and I am now a student far far away.