The second-floor green chairs provide superior back support, a better view, and more isolation: no worrying if friends walking to class are going to see you eat that crumb you dropped on your shirt—and yet, I am an avid first floor enthusiast. Why, you ask? The whispering. 

All logic dictates one in search of comfort and privacy while studying should leave the first floor of Milstein behind and traverse the treacherous staircase terrain to the second-floor lime throne haven. And oh, OH, I wish I could agree. 

Watching the sun set over Uris in a flurry of soft pinks and oranges is anything but tranquil with the constant PSSSSSSSSSSPSSSSSSSSSS reverberating in my ear, reminiscent of a riverside sewage pipe trickling into an eventual explosion. Like a dripping sink that Facilities refuses to fix, the harsh softness constantly draws my attention away from both my procrastination and my essay.

I understand that the floors of Millstein are meant to get quieter upon ascension and thus I understand the noble goal of whisperers: to lessen their environmental impact. For that, I applaud you. But, I’ve noticed, personally, that whispering is consistently more noticeable than soft talking. Its distinctness as a sound and the volume/enunciation often required for your friend to notice and comprehend your complaining about the impossibility and unfairness of an assignment that is worth 75% of your grade makes it far more prominent in my brutalized ears. Talking I can tune out—but whispering remains a permanent cloud in my auricular vision.

I have certainly fallen into the trap of whispering myself and will for years to come, but having realized how close to the verge of insanity sitting next to serial whisperers drives me, I consistently attempt to change my ways. I cannot always avoid Milstein’s second floor; as I write this post in lieu of my assignments next to several of you, I am rage and my fuel is whispers. There is no actual personal malice harbored, simply situational malice: remember, I was you. Sometimes, I am you. We are all brainwashed into thinking whispering is the best way to be quiet/respectful in libraries. Please rethink the whisper propaganda that has been planted in your brains, especially as it relates to a talking floor of Milstein. 

I have nothing against group study on the second floor, in fact, I encourage and applaud it, but I humbly ask that when you remember to (if you feel the need to be quieter in consideration of fellow studiers) you lower your voices and talk quietly rather than whisper. 


P.S. If you have the time: anti-whisper movements need YOUR help to build momentum and the academic field of whisper studies is dramatically understaffed. We should all work together to investigate when/how the lie that whispering is more effectively hidden than talking quietly began/spread.

A Miserable Sunset via Sophie Askanase