Northeastern Memories: Smokers

The sign in question

When I started Northeastern as a curious newbie, the weather was above 60 degrees, Floyd Mayweather didn't beat Manny Pacquiao, and the royals didn't have a baby yet. However, a curious sight of crowds of smokers, many of whom appeared international since cigarettes aren't as "in" around the U.S., congregated in front of the Dodge Hall business building and Krentzman Quad ironically, flagrantly, openly, and hostilely in opposition to a poorly placed "no smoking" sign. I actually enjoyed their cafe atmosphere of socializing, de-stressing, and unwinding as long as I didn't get too caught in the crossfire of second-hand smoke.

Smoking plaza

It felt like we, puffers and passersby, were all busy and occupied by group projects, case studies, and the like. I wondered both how stress-relieving nicotine can be as I don't smoke and whether I'll see the throngs of smokers again next semester. Hopefully, I will for the nostalgia and visual interest of clothing-coordinated people who wore lots of Moncler and Canada Goose when the weather became chilly but not too snowy that they had to stop smoking and mysteriously burrow back like groundhogs.

Out of curiosity, I also asked my roommate why so many business students smoked. My roommate joked cynically, "It's because business students' lives are so empty," which made me give a, "Hmm..." since we're majoring in business, and I wondered if accounting is futile (only wondered! This is not reality. I'm sure many people like net income, auditing, and taxation!).

The reverse psychology and appeal of norm violation can be seen in this humorous YouTube video shown in international business class where Italians supposedly do everything wrong compared to Europeans:

I guess you could replace EU citizens and Italians with any group and subgroup of people

The specific reference to smoking around a "no smoking" sign strangely reminded me of how few people use the closed smoking booths at Logan Airport as if being trapped in your own smoke and adopting the smell are worse than the lungs directly inhaling it. 

If I see smokers again in September, they will give me that warm, fuzzy back-to-school feeling!