As a kid, it was hard to get any peace and quiet around my house. I had three sisters, two brothers, as well as two cousins that lived with us permanently. It was a full house, to say the least, which was irritating when it came time to do my schoolwork. I was not naturally gifted as a student, and I really needed a place of my own so that I could better focus on my homework. Going to the public library worked well, but there was a problem of what to do after it closed in the evening. The only quiet spot in the house was the attic, but it was hotter than a furnace. I mean that literally, because I could go sit right next to the loud, grinding gas furnace in the basement and be cooler than it was up there. I tried opening up the air vents at either end of the attic for some ventilation, but they were far too small to make any real difference. Finally I asked my dad about it, to see if he had any ideas about how I could set about cooling down the attic to use as a study. He said he would think about it, and then the next day came home with a small, portable air conditioning unit. We set it up in the attic, along with a little table and a chair, so that I could study in air conditioned comfort. My dad, and that little air conditioner, really helped me to pull up my grades that year.