Finding Inner Peace at Starbucks

  I made the decision to take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) and have a 3 month window of time to prepare, which means I need every second available to me.  Yesterday I was able to spend an hour and a half studying while the boys hit balls at the driving range.  For a change of scenery I hit the local Starbucks with my laptop in tow.

Although Starbucks is noisy, crowded, and overpriced, I found some kind of inner solace while there and hit another gear as far as productivity goes.  Maybe I am like the dog who hears the bell and drools, except when I hear the whir of an espresso machine I learn.  During college, I spent a considerable amount of time in coffee shops.  How many countless hours were spent reading or doing homework in the Gizmo (Knox College coffee shop) - on the patio in the spring and fall or snuggled next to the fireplace when the snow was falling?   

No place was my coffee shop predilection more apparent than Tokyo, where cafes are all the rage.  It was nearly impossible to walk half a block without running into some kind of caffine peddling establishment.  Even when I was with company, we would be reading in tandem or discussing that day's assignment.  It was a place where ideas ran free, a place of quiet reflection, a place for thoughts to flourish.

Now it seems that the din of the crowd and the smell of the roast are exactly what I need to prepare my brain for storing mass amounts of information.  That, and a babysitter.

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