The tornado sirens were sounding when I came out of my Toastmasters meeting last night. It wasn’t really doing much outside…there was a little thunder and lightning, that was about it. And despite the fact that there is now a really annoying monotone voice that blares out over downtown Iowa City, “TAKE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY!!!!” when the tornado siren goes off (probably a result of the tornadoes that swept through town a year ago) most people wandering around downtown didn’t seem too concerned. I was supposed to pick up College Student across campus in about ten minutes, but I decided we should both just stay put for a few minutes. There was some rain after that, but not much else. So I called College Student and told him to meet me in front of the University library.
Then the sirens sounded again. By the time I got to the library, College Student had still not even left his building, so I headed into the library (where I was chastised for “standing too close to the windows”) and waited out the rest of the warning with about 5000 college students. Okay, maybe not that many, but it felt like it when we were all crammed into the middle hallway on the first floor. Is there not a basement in the University library??? Not that I was freaked out…it just seemed like maybe there would’ve been a little more ROOM in the basement? And then the people who appointed themselves the library police wouldn’t have had to keep yelling at the people who were standing too close to the windows (they yelled at several other people after me).
When College Student called and told me he was standing outside the library, I was a little afraid the library police were not going to let me leave (cuz, you know, I had to walk right up to those windows in order to leave), but they did.
I was in the basement of the Coralville library when there really were tornadoes in the area. (I had a little more fun there….even though I was technically “in charge” of my teen writers group.) Clearly, I spend A LOT of time in libraries. (More time than I spend in coffee houses, believe it or not.)