Slice of life, slightly stale

Tue 10 Aug 2010 09:43 AM

I only get so many opportunities for slice-of-life blogging, since I have neither cats nor kids. I wrote the following last month, but for some reason didn't post it.

As a graduate student, I developed the habit of doing my academic writing in coffee houses. I went to the office if I wanted to meet with people and talk about things, but I went to a coffee shop if I wanted to get work done. I even listed the coffee shops that I frequented in the acknowledgments of my dissertation.

I have been a professor for several years, but I still have this habit. There are several good coffee shops in Albany. Professor Java's is one of these. It has two separate rooms. It is sometimes closed for private events, but when it is open I prefer the quiet room in front. The room is also physically cooler, which is a bonus in summertime.

The odd thing is how other patrons make use of this somewhat secluded room. Lots of people, in various kinds of business, come here to meet with clients. Lots of people come here on first dates. Others come here on last dates, and stage dramatic break ups. All of them are pretty open about it, perhaps taken in by the private side room vibe. There's more of this ersatz privacy here than at any other coffee shop I've frequented, which means that I've had to pretend not to notice a lot of drama.