Friday, March 26, 2010

Unique New York*

My alma mater won last night. Maybe you heard. If not, feast your eyes on highlights:

And it's sort of a big deal that they won. Sort of a "they've never made it to this level of tournament play before" big deal. But I know that a lot of my friends don't really follow basketball and, you each their own. Whatever. But I do. Specifically, I care about the NCAA tournament, and to be even more specific, I care about Butler in the NCAA tournament. So I was pretty excited about this win.

I didn't get to see one minute of the game, thanks to ochem.

What occurred instead was one of the most unique situations that I've ever been in.

Thinking ahead, I set up z and the boy to send me text updates as the game progressed. I knew I would have zero access to internet or to a TV during my lab, so I thought the text messages would be the best option to keep up on the game. What ensued was hilarious.

The first part of my lab was a lecture. In the basement of the science building. Where cell reception is spotty anyway. And where my lab TA has been known to confiscate cell phones that make noise. (true story.) So I set my phone to silent and took the desk closest to the door of the classroom. I put the phone on my desk and kept surreptitiously checking when a new text would come in. I would carefully type responses so as not to draw too much attention as the lecture progressed. Keep in mind that this was happening in a class of 13 people. THIRTEEN. Looking back, I'm pretty certain the lecturer knew that I was up to something.

As fate would have it, the lecture broke right as we hit halftime, and I got my final update: "35-25 at halftime. Fewest points in 1st half, biggest deficit at halftime for Syracuse." I almost danced up the stairs to the lab where we would begin our experiment, and started plotting ways to keep my phone in my back pocket, but still be able to check messages regularly.

On our way to the lab, I heard the lecturer (who was also leading this lab) ask someone else if they knew the Butler score. I almost tripped up the stairs, when I whirled around to blurt "35-25." He responded, "Syracuse?" to which I answered, "Nope. Butler. Can you believe it?"

What followed was a three minute conversation about Butler's chances, how the first half had gone, and how we couldn't believe they were up 10.

After that conversation, I went ahead and took the liberty of placing my cell phone in the same hood where my partner and I were conducting our experiment. Since the lab leader kept coming by to get the updates that I was getting, I figured I had a bit of license to be somewhat distracted.

Because both z and the boy were sending updates, I was getting different perspectives. When Syracuse pulled ahead, z was careful to never tell me the score...only who had possession and what foul had just been committed. The boy's updates were more irregular and more shorthanded (almost to the point where they could not be understood) but since he was giving me the score as Syracuse first caught up to, and then passed Butler, I could understand his stress.

Then suddenly, for a good five to ten minutes, both boys stopped sending updates. This coincided with a point in my experiment where I was washing my product with reagent and letting it sit for five minutes at a time - three washes. Three intervals of five minutes to obsessively check my phone for updates when, during the last two washes, none were forthcoming. I was fah-reaking out. We've already discussed how I can not handle suspense. And I had nothing. No way to check anything that was going on.

And then there was an explosion.

It seemed that everyone I knew was sending me a message. From "down by 4...they can't buy a basket... 4 min left," to "Woah, your boys r gonna win crazy!" to "holy shit!" to "62-56," "63-56. Syracuse ball," "63-58. 23.6. Foul on Syracuse," "Missed. Foul on Butler. In bounds to Syracuse," "12.7. Shooting foul on Butler. Almost made the shot too," "63-59," "Missed the second! Foul on Syracuse. Two shots. 9.9," "Missed the first," and finally "BUTLER WINS!"

These came in one after another after another. At one point I had 13 messages that I just could not keep up with even though I was reading them as they came in. Usually the first update would come from z (most of the messages above) and would be shortly followed by some variation of the same information from the boy. And then? Then came the Facebook updates after the win where EVERYONE freaked out.

It was unreal.

I know the game was stressful. I've seen the highlights and sorted through the text messages. Watching it would have been awesome. But this was a completely unique experience that was not the completely miserable situation I anticipated. My experience was tension from not knowing. Was jumping up and down while impatiently awaiting the next update and still managing to focus enough to time my reagent washes. My experience was excited chatter with others who didn't really have a stake in the game, but were catching on to my nervous excitement. It was sorting through a plethora of information that came all at once after a long period of knowing nothing at all. And finally it was jubilation that my team had just earned a huge win.

I was supposed to go home and go to sleep after that? No way. I live about five blocks from campus (if that) and if you stepped out on my porch in the rain, you could hear the noise from the students. I couldn't sleep. I watched highlights, I read Facebook posts, and I reveled in the excitement.

And I know that sports don't really matter. I know that I could be posting about any of several other more serious topics in the news lately. But when your team is the David that just beat Goliath? When the underdog gets a chance to say "Nah nah na nah naaaaaah?" It's a unique type of celebratory feeling. One that you want to revel in. To roll around in like a dog in an interesting smell. So that's my PSA for today. Get into sports. It's cheaper than drugs, and the highs are just as high. (just don't ask z about the lows.)

Now cross your fingers for Butler's next game at 4:30pm on Saturday, and if you have a time machine so that I can get study time in (for two tests!!) in ADDITION to watching that game? It would be appreciated.

*bonus points if you can tell me which movie the title came from.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An Open Letter About Karma

Dear person who hit my parked car and then drove off,

That was rude. I mean, I know there's no way you could have known that I was in a serious car accident a little over a year ago. Or that I had just gotten my beloved Curvy back from the shop where a very scary noise had just been corrected. I know there's no way you could have known that, perhaps as a result of the accident, car stress gets to me in a way that no other stress does. I know.

But you probably did know that my car, being parked in front of the humble abode that it guards every day, is my most expensive possession (and you probably guessed that I don't even really own it yet.) You probably did know, when your car connected with my car's rear left quarter panel and left a visible dent and scratches, that the damage would be expensive and that it was all your fault. That's probably why you drove off in a panic.

You probably had no idea that I had had a conversation about this very situation only a few days prior, and that I totally judged a co-worker when he said that he "wasn't sure" he would leave a note if he accidentally hit someone and there were no witnesses. You had no idea of my level of outrage because in my world? Not leaving a note is not an option. In my world? You own up to your mistakes.

But you know, I can't even be mad anymore. It happened. It's done. There's nothing I can do but suck it up and get my car fixed. There's nothing more I can do but rest assured that Karma is a bitch and I'm sure that what goes around, comes around.

But just in case karma needs some help, I have prepared a list of suggestions for what would befit a person, such as yourself, who would do such an underhanded cowardly thing.

- a pack of wild roaming cats can invade your house, pee on every carpeted surface and piece of furniture, and then disappear without a trace to leave you with the unending smell of ammonia until the day you die.

- your car will suddenly stop functioning on 465 at the point farthest from your home. In the left lane.

- you will be summoned for jury duty twice in 25 months and have to be sequestered both times.

- you will exit your house for a very important occasion (first date? job interview?) and step right into dog poo... the smell of which would follow you throughout the rest of the day/evening.

- Part I: your water-heater will stop working indefinitely, and since you don't have the money for car insurance (why else would you NOT LEAVE A NOTE?!) you will not have the money to be able to get it fixed.

- Part II: you will forget that you don't have hot water every morning until you're already in the shower.

- You will sit in cat puke multiple times in one morning.

- You will be forced to spend family holidays with someone who makes the experience absolutely miserable for you.

- Part I: You will be mistakenly picked up for terrorist activity and as torture, your fingernails will be pulled out one by one.

- Part II: As a result of your captivity, you will contract a nasty case of chicken pox and not be able to scratch.

- Two words: Adult Acne.

- When I leave for school full time, you will apply and be selected to do my job. For the rest of your life.

Any other suggestions befitting such a person? I mean, of course we have no effect on Karma whatsoever, but it sure would make me feel better. The more evil (but not permanent) the damage, the better.

- Ochem. I wish upon you a thousand classes of organic chemistry.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


- I am not a veterinary-school-prerequisite-filling dropout. I can't decide if it's because I'm ridiculously stubborn, or if it's because I really want to be a vet and haven't yet given up hope. I'm leaning towards the stubborn.

- I had an ochem test on Monday over the same material that was on the quiz (that I did, actually, get a 50% on.) I actually feel pretty good about it. The test, I mean. Not the quiz. I'm still depressed as hell about the quiz. But the test is worth 100 points, and the quiz was worth 25, so in the grand scheme of things... Anyhow, I'm afraid to spend too much time thinking about my test and how I did lest I jinx myself. I am supposed to get it back today, so if you don't hear from me for the next month or so, just come looking for me in the pit of despair.

- When you're the first person in the office in the mornings, and you happen to be in the bathroom when the second person gets into the office, it's super awkward when they call out "Good Morning" and you answer from the toilet.

- Next week is my SPRING BREAK. I plan to be as lame as ever during that week, but I'm still excited. Getting in to work at 8:00am! Dinner with friends instead of class during the week! NCAA tournament!!!!!!!!

- Yes, I will choose Butler to go all the way. I'm willing to throw away my $5 again.

- My dog is muddy. I would hate on that, but temperatures have been above 50 degrees lately, and I'm so happy I could cry.

- I know I haven't mentioned him recently (mainly because I try not to think about his existence) but I think we may have stumbled upon a new drug regimen for Tyson that just might work and is not out of the boy's budget at $10/90 days. I'll keep you updated on this very exciting news. (Well, in my world. You probably don't care. Unless you live with Cash.)

- My fingers = the same or worse. Thank you for all of the suggestions (I've tried each of them) but I think I'm resigned to have to go see the dermatologist about this. Drat. Maybe I DO have a latex allergy. Does that mean that I would have to quit organic chem lab? Do you think a Dr's note will excuse me? (I know, I know. I'm reaching. But it's nice to dream.)

The majority of this blog was written yesterday and just not posted. Last night I found out that my professor will not be returning our ochem tests until after Spring Break. So I'm spared a week in the pit of despair. I'll find out on March 22nd. Do you know what happens before then? The NCAA TOURNAMENT BEGINS!!! Woot!! Hopefully I can keep my mind off of the suspense... Go DAWGS!

Thursday, March 04, 2010


So I studied all last weekend and then Monday and Tuesday nights for an ochem quiz that I had yesterday. When I got the quiz, everything looked familiar and I was thrilled that it didn't look like Chinese to me. I methodically worked through the problems and felt okay about the quiz...

...until the professor put the answers on the board.

People, I'll be lucky if I got a 50% on that stupid quiz. And I have a test over the same material on Monday.

Tomorrow is the last day to drop out of classes with a W instead of a grade.

All I can think is that I don't want to be in school anymore.

I mean, I know I want to be a vet. I get that. What I'm tired of is feeling dumb. I'm tired of questioning whether or not this whole "I'm an intelligent person" idea that I have is based less on fact and more on self-delusion. I'm tired of not having any free time. I'm tired of putting all of this effort into a class that I won't use ever again EVER and getting such little return. Most of all I'm frustrated. I hate that I can't do this. I hate that I'm drowning under work and school when I'm supposed to be able to handle anything.

I hate that organic chemistry has shattered my confidence.

Because vet school? Very competitive. And my GPA? Can't handle another C in chemistry.

The boy suggested taking a semester off. But if I was going to take a semester off, this should have been it. I mean, summer is coming after this, and that's usually enough of a recharge to get me back on the saddle in August. And if I take the fall semester off this year? Do I really want to delay my application to vet school again? (Answer: no.)

Z asked me if I was willing to do this for five more years. No. No I'm not. But I don't have to. Once If I get into vet school, it would be school full time. OMG I dream about this. It's like my crack. Forty hours more per week with which I could study? Classes that are relevant to what I want to do with my life? Done! Sign me up right now.

Only, I have to get through this part to get to that part. And right now, all I can think is that I don't want to do this anymore.

So I'm sending out an SOS. Help a girl out. Remind me that I can do this. Remind me why I should. Because right now? I can't remember on my own. All I can think is that I don't want to keep getting kicked when I'm down. I don't want to keep putting all this effort into something and barely getting by. Who, in their right mind, would sign up for this torture? All I can think is that I don't want to be in school anymore.

And tomorrow is my last day to make that decision.