Butler Archetypes: The Sickly Study Buddy

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Sick of studying all day and night? So is the star of our most recent Butler Archetype—but, like, actually. Read on as Anna Bahr investigates whether her table mate has the Bubonic Plague, or just the world’s stuffiest nose… 

Personal modeling headshots submitted by Louise McCune.

It’s the night before that one really important midterm—you’re already enormously uncomfortable. A continuous chorus of sniffles and sneezes has been ringing through 209 since you took a seat half an hour ago. Miraculously, you were able to score a two-top and have enjoyed free reign over your table.

Until now.

Slumped over, she’s shuffling in your direction with a full Duane Reade bag slung over the crook of her elbow. Weakly, she pulls out the chair next to you, takes a seat, and begins to unload. From the plastic bag she produces DayQuil, a full box of Kleenex, echinacea, and no fewer than three bags of Ricola. This girl is ill.

She starts to cough like it’s her job. Her lungs are filled with what you can only imagine is a mucus thicker and greener than John Jay split pea soup, and when a speck of spit flies from her mouth onto your moleskine, it’s hard to ignore your own sudden wave of nausea.

“Sorry,” she hacks, clearly only feeling sorry for herself.

Before cracking her Walter Benjamin, she blows her nose into six different tissues with which she creates a barrier of used, snotty Kleenex that divide the table between the two of you.

You don’t know whether it’s the fever or the exhaustion, but her reflexes suck. She’s too slow to catch the drip that’s been building in her nose, and it falls onto her Macbook. She’s too sick to be embarrassed, and, sucking loudly on a lozenge, she shrugs and sleepily starts to read. You shudder, silently.

Fighting the urge to do a quick key bump of Emergen-C out of your backpack and dip your entire body in Purell, you do the next best thing: rush back to EC and scrub your hands raw until the memory of the Sickly Study Buddy is no more discernible than a faint cough in the distance.

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  1. ...  

    keybumps of emergen-c? really?

    in seriousness, the cacoughany that takes place around exams in butler is absurd. one night i just completely gave up and started counting the seconds between coughs. we're talking like 10-20 seconds here.

    either some student group or columbia appendage needs to start doling out cough syrup in butler or they need to setup a leper colony in the basement, because when people are coughing every 20 seconds they're not only failing to take care of themselves, they're succeeding at making life miserable for everyone else.

  2. nice touch with the book

    These illustrations have been superb.

  3. Anonymous  

    Butler Archetypes depicted as:
    ambiguous (he/she)=1

    Stop giving women a bad rap! Guys go to the library when they're sick too.

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