June 3rd, 2002


Would you hit me? Would you hit me?

This'll have to be quick because my lazy git of a Spanish Professor sent out the homework via email super late so I have to do it now. I'm going to lodge a fairly loud complaint about homework being sent out late afternoon on a SATURDAY. Jesus, you're being PAID woman. If you're going to make demands about us being on time all the time then the least you could do would be to act like you value promptness in yourself. Freaking double standards.

This weekend was alright I guess. I went up to the country, got some fresh air and a chance to run away from all the responsibility that I've taken on.

While up there I did a bunch of yard work. The first thing I did on Saturday afternoon was mow the lawn. It'd been quite awhile since I had done that and in the meantime the caretaker had gotten a new lawnmower. Still after a little fiddling I got it running and I started in on the old pattern that my father used to do with it. Things went pretty smoothly except at one point the lawnmower started spitting out clouds of blue smoke. It turned out I was just overpriming it though (I am used to much older engines that do require repriming after even a small amount of rest).

Mowing the lawn made me think about a bunch of things. How different the world looks at 20 than it did at 12 (I remember being full of boundless energy for lawn mowing at 12 but just not having the strength or stamina to push the mower over the whole lawn before resting. At 20 I have no problem doing the lawn but I just don't have that hyperactive enthusiasm.)

After the lawn I watched DVDs and went to sleep early since without late night TV or the internet there was no reason to stay up. Maybe I should just abandon late night TV and the internet.

On Sunday I did a bunch of gardening. I cleared a whole patch of Forsythia by yanking it out by the roots (Gardening for me is fun only insofar as I get to rip things up and break things. Ripping trees out of the ground qualifies as fun. Planting little frou-frou flowers does not) only to find out that it was covering the old spetic tank cover. D'OH. We'll plant something there to cover it again but it's sort of amusing that my great idea of ripping by the roots so it wouldn't grow back turned out to be a bad idea because...now it won't grow back.

I also tore a few small trees out of the ground by the roots. Nothing too huge, just a few 7-8' tall 4-5" diameter ones. They came much more easily than the Forsythia. Still ripping a tree out of the ground is great fun and I highly suggest that people take an opportunity to do it.

Maybe one day I'll be able to actually leave my property but right now I'm content to be able to spend some time in the country re-aquainting myself with my non-city side. I don't like how one sided I've become. I need to be able to exist in a rural/wilderness setting. It's part of my self view.

I didn't eat well and I didn't get a lot of school work done but those are just areas to work on next time. Soon I will get my driver's license and then I will actually be able to use my own house. That'll be boffo.

At least gardening is good exercise. Several times I pushed so hard that I had to actually sit down. And it's much more fun than pumping iron or riding on an exercycle.

Tomorrow: Work. Better get some damned sleep. Also a spanish test. Gah.
  • Current Music
    Pearl Jam - Ten

Off to the salt mines

My Spanish test went okay. Not great but it's a tiny part of my grade. 1/30th

During the recess from class some weird woman came up and asked me and Edward to help carry her daughter's bags to her dorm. She was southern and black and kept blessing us and carrying on with all sorts of religious stuff while we helped her. Yeesh...I don't mind doing favors but don't prostelytize please. Anyway she blessed us and said she'd pray for us and our grades. Nice woman but she needs a pamphlet on what it means to be from New York and how that relates to being Jaded.

I have to go to work now. I'm really damned nervous. Hope I don't fuck up. Report will follow tonight.
  • Current Mood
    nervous nervous

They don't shit where they're not supposed to. Don't take what's not theirs


That was something.

I arrived at work at around 2:00 PM which was pretty much when I'd said I'd be there. No problems entering the building even though the security guard looked ascance at me.

So far so good.

The Dr. showed me around a little more, to the computer station where apparently I will go bored out of my mind doing silly little computations that numb the mind and rend the soul, and some of my fellow volunteers including a fellow from Trinity college in some other state. I repressed my elitism.

After that we went up to where the animals are stored and things got intimidating. First of all to get into the area where the animals are there's a security system involving magnetic keycards and ominous warning signs. Apparently animal rights activists tried to "liberate" some of the subjects of the experiments and security had to be put into place to keep them up. I felt like I was walking into some sort of high-tech weapons facility. All that was missing was the armed guards. Then, as if things weren't surreal enough, we had to put on decontaminated scrubs because nobody's allowed on the ward without sterile clothing. We're not just talking about a piddly little smock either, we're talking mask, hairnet, shoe covers, everything but sterile pants. Clad ominously in a strange mix of yellow blue and white we continued forward to the room (past all sorts of signs like "Danger radioactive material, Danger: Baboons with communicable diseases", etc) which was wall to wall full of cages of rats. I was informed that we were going to do some long overdue weaning, then given a yellow cart and the Dr.s key card and sent off to the tenth floor to fetch some rats and clean cages. I went off not really knowing what to do but assured that "I'd be able to figure it out". Headed up to the tenth floor, swipped my card and entered yet another ward. This one had more of an industrial feel to it since it had a bunch of guys washing tons and tons of cages (presumably of rats who had been sacked)

I got 12 clean cages from the stack over by one door and headed towards the room I'd been told to go to. It was one of those rooms with a letter added to the end of the number, something I hadn't been told, so it took me quite awhile to figure out that hey there WAS no room 10xx but only a 10xxA. I went into 10xxA and as warned the rats were not there. They were in a room attached by an adjoining door. The only issue was that that there was a whole case of rats in front of that door and I didn't know if I was allowed to move it. I really wish that people would just TELL me these sorts of things. In a sterile scientifically controlled place you don't want to just play it by ear. You want a procedure. Anyway after a few more minutes of searching, hemming, and hawing I finally decided to move the case and open the door. I went in and the right rats were there only there were three more than I'd been told there would be. I just grabbed the number I'd been told about and headed back out, finally figuring that I had completed my chores and would be able to get back to where I was at least near somebody who knew what they were doing.

That was when I checked my pockets for the keycard, anally, and found out that I had dropped it. There I was on my first day, in my first hour, on a locked ward with a cart full of empty cages and 4 cages of live rats and I had lost the bosses keycard. Then I noticed that my right glove had split open meaning I wasn't properly sterilized (Damn my monstrous hands. It was a large glove but I need an extra large to contain these monstrosities) At this point I seriously thought of making a dash for it. I mean I figured I was screwed anyway and since the place where I was wasn't really attached to my school I could run for it and nothing would happen. But then my conscience kicked in and I realized I couldn't do that. I also couldn't leave the ward because even though there's a red button that lets you leave without a keycard I couldn't get back in on the other floor to return the animals! Thus began the process of wheeling a cart full of cages and animals around a ward asking random people if they'd seen the keycard (which wasn't even mine!) I started with the washerpeople because they're low on the totem pole and it doesn't matter if they think I'm incompetant and worked my way up. Fortunatly before I got around to asking the head guy on the ward some scientist from a foreign country mentioned that he'd found my keycard. Unfortunatly he'd given it to the head dude! I screwed up my courage and went to his office to tell him what had happened and hope for the best. Unfortunatly he wasn't there. So I waited for about 10 minutes till he returned. Fortunatly he turned out to be a really nice guy, returned the card without many questions or even a "Don't ever do that again" and even helped me re-stack my cages so that they would fit in the elevator better. I should have used Delores' name but frankly I didn't think to at the time. Anyway I went back down to where the Dr. was, apologised for being late, didn't tell her what had happened with the card since she didn't really ask why I had been late and I figured "No Harm No Foul" and we got to work.

For the next few hours I filled out a lot of index cards with rat family information and learned about the breeding of the various strains of rat. It was actually quite interesting. We weaned a bunch of litters (although I'm not allowed to touch the rats yet) and sent an awful lot off to be Sacked. I also learned about rat tattooing and identification. It was interesting. I never mentioned the keycard, maybe I should although it seems the time has passed. Hope that doesn't end up biting me in the ass. It's not like I was HIDING anything per se, it's just that it was a bonehead mistake and I DID fix it so...

Tomorrow I'm going in to get my ID stuff sorted out. It promises to be a beauraucratic nightmare but at least I'll have my own keycard.

Oh well it's late. I guess homework in the morning. I really hope that working doesn't kill my GPA this summer. I should be able to survive...I hope.

That was definitly not what I expected. I thought I'd be at a cushy desk crunching boring numbers. Not standing around in scrubs sending rats to Rat Aushwitz.

At least I managed to get through it. Discipline young Jedi. Discipline.
  • Current Music
    Pearl Jam - Rats