Naps: They are inevitable, inescapable, ineludible – some would even say naps are predestined for students at the College. We are all prone to them, whether from be the taxation of Friday nights at Goodrich, the availability of irresistibly comfy spots scattered around campus, Thursday night Indian food at Mission or just the need to escape the strenuous academic curriculum for a few blissful minutes with our eyes shut.
I was a virgin napper upon arrival at Williams but quickly fell victim to the napping epidemic, surrendering myself to the Schow beanbag chairs, Paresky couches, Chapin steps and Sawyer monkey carrels. In fact, I have become such an expert napper – capable of dozing off at any place and any time, indifferent to noise fluctuations or the judgment of my peers – that I have become known as “the serial napper.”
But what seems to be even more appealing than naps themselves – and few activities are part of this elite category – is the documentation of these public nappers, a surprisingly simple task in the era of the camera phone. The newly popular “Mobile Uploads” (Muploads) Facebook photo albums are not complete without a picture of a napper in an unlikely place with a clever caption to go along with it.
Is it the personal connection and familiarity with the napper that attracts us to these photos? Or the embarrassing drool stains and open mouths that raise our self-esteem by comparison? Or do we actually admire the public nappers who are not afraid to sprawl out in the middle of Paresky for a well-deserved lounging break? Whatever the reason for the fascination with napping photos, the student body is hooked, which Sora Kim ’13, creator of the infamous blog “Ephs Sleeping in Public,” recently realized.
Kim’s blog, which is modeled off of the hit blog “Asians Sleeping in the Library,” began as a Facebook photo album, until her friend, Robert Kim ’11, suggested she develop the album into something more accessible to the public. The blog officially began on March 14 when Kim uploaded nine photos, and it has quickly caught on around campus.
“Ephs Sleeping in Public” features photos taken by the blogger herself and depends on photos that students email to Kim of their peers napping. While the photos provide much of the entertainment, the witty captions, which are either sent by the photographer or imagined by Kim, are also an integral component of the blog.
According to Kim, Paresky is the most popular napping locale, followed by Schow and Sawyer libraries and various common rooms. There are a few anomalies, such as a photo of Daquan Mickens ’12 napping in a Starbucks in New York City in a Chipotle-induced food coma.
Many of the pictured nappers have been surprised to find themselves on the blog, including Sara Finkle ’14. Finkle coincidentally became aware of her priceless solo shot – described in the caption as “a casual face plant” – while napping. “I found out about it while asleep in [Hollander Hall] through a text that woke me up,” Finkle said. Like the majority of Williams students, Finkle indulges in naps, crediting the hobby not only to a stressful workload, but also to her genetic background. “My dad had a tendency to lie on the floor and fall asleep in the library while in college,” she said.
Tat Udomritthiruj ’13, also pictured as a sleeping Eph, said, “I was pretty surprised when I saw myself on the blog. It was a bad angle too.” Despite the poor angle, she still advocates for the activity. “Napping is one of the best things in the world, and everyone should do it all the time.”
More and more Ephs are following Udomritthiruj’s lead, as evidenced by the steady growth of the blog. However, concern amongst the student body about being caught snoozing in less-than-ideal positions with the traditional drool trickling, open mouth expression is also growing. Increasing numbers of students now conceal their identity, using hoods, jackets, hats and even notebooks to veil their faces.
Speaking from personal experience – I have been featured many a time in “Muploads” Facebook albums passed out – napping photos are not the best look for most of us. Nevertheless, I have chosen to embrace these photos, no matter how abundant the drool or how awkward the arm position or how Avatar-esque the facial expression. These photos are evidence of the work ethic Williams students exercise daily. “Napping is part of being a Williams student. We have one of the most rigorous academic programs, and the blog is meant to celebrate everyone’s hard work,” Kim said.
So in the future, after a strenuous walk back to Tyler House, an exhausting battle of Beirut or a fatiguing grapple with Foucault philosophy, don’t count out a refreshing nap – long or catnap, public or private – as your next activity. Catch 40 winks, get some shut-eye, and embrace the siesta. As Kim said “Sometimes you just have to sleep, and taking a nap is one of the best ways to do it!”