Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Soooo What Have You Got In Your Pocketsessss..??!!

(My Very Own Parking Space)

Gollum...kinda gotta love a creature that comes up with a word like "pocketses." Don't ya?

It's my birthday and my Dad got me a new backpack thus renewing an old tradition we had when I was in school (the first time) in which he would get me a new pack periodically. I took a blissful hour yesterday to explore all the pockets (pocketses!!!) and give deep thought to how to organize my things. After all, I do have to find that stuff later. I darned near froze my rear off in the parking lot and missed a class wallowing in all the zipper pouches, pockets, sections, cord loops, strap loops, handles, pass-throughs (for my headphones!), and as if that wasn't enough the darn thing zips in half to make my laptop scan-able through a mesh layer if I take the pack to the airport.*

The other part of the gift was a collapsible hand truck. Because every girl NEEDS one of THOSE. THAT thing is amazing. Handles 150 lbs and has solid rubber no-flat wheels. It's not very big once collapsed and with the suitable application of a short bungee cord (you should always have bungee cords) the backpack can be lashed easily onto the truck and towed about if you are lazy and/or towing books all over creation twelve hours a day. I must admit to being very curious about this 150 lb thing, though, so I figure I'll have to test the hand truck...all my books plus the boys? That would make for an interesting picture!

School is moving right along. The god of the university parking lot is still the truck. If you don't have one you are condemned to circle like a vulture. I now have my own personal parking space. There is a pack of full-time students with sport utility type vehicles that parks in the median area of the outer-most lot. It's still not as far out as some park, but you would be surprised at how many people with trucks or Jeeps just don't park there. Oddly enough, there's some sort of respect for parking order on the median (don't panic, it's not a REAL median, that's just what they call it). Most of the folks who park there are young men with testosterone-injected vehicles and I'm pretty sure they thought I was possessed when I came up over the curb in Whitey (my white Mountaineer with two car seats and a ton of well-packed "crap" in the back in old Pampers boxes) and jumped out of the front seat. A random Buzz Lightyear jumped out with me--you know how those Space Rangers are--and I had to chuck him back in. Someone actually shouted "To infinity and beyond!" and smiled at me and I thought, "I've found my little spot, here!" Here, among the ragamuffins of the median.

I've been studying anatomy and physiology with a fellow student. Turns out, her father is the physical therapist who REALLY put me back together after three pretty awful knee surgeries back in 1993 (OMG...was that 17 years ago?). I was so excited to hear from him! He was awesome and encouraging and exceptionally good at his job. His wife had heart troubles at the time and it was good to hear that she had miraculously gotten a heart replacement! Wow...truly amazing who you run into sometimes and gravitate towards.

Classes are good and I'm learning a lot. I'll admit, though, to worrying a bit after hearing one of my "non-chemistry" instructors try to explain the orbital structure of atoms as it relates to chemical bonding. No wonder that's the weed-out chapter...I admit to taking copious amounts of notes due to the fact that I need to know what the instructor's answers would be. I shudder to think of how I would be determining the number of shells, distribution of electrons, bonding capability had I not had chemistry. There are several in this course who have had no chemistry save what they may or may not have had in high school. Come to think of it, how are they going to understand any of the physiology at all? Geez...buffer systems, Calcium channels, hemoglobin structure/function, genetics...to name a few. I would be well and truly terrified and confused were I many of these students.

Last but not least, the grateful county in which I live has seen fit to bestow upon me the honor of Jury Duty. They managed to do this the same day as two tests and a quiz. Both professors are adamant that I must get out of Jury Duty...they will not offer to leave the tests in the testing center for makeup. The quiz giver is equally unbending. Not to mention the lab and assignments...all of which will be due ahead of time. Yes, I AM going to turn in the lab ahead of time. It will be like magic.

As for the inflexibility of professors versus Jury summons...please do not get me started because I DO view it as a civic duty and I DO NOT see any reason to get out of it. The only time I asked to be let out was when I had a child in the hospital...called the judge and had no problem. I've even sat on the petit jury for a trial in which a man allegedly shot a dog in the toe with a BB gun (that's REALLY why they don't tell you the facts of the case ahead of time). Missed three days of teaching for THAT. That was a fiasco and a waste of the court's time, but well within everyone's rights I guess.

Usually, though, having been a research biochemist (DNA fingerprinting, sequencing, and all that jazz) eliminates you from really ugly cases in which criminal evidence is presented. Having opinions about gun rights also will get you eliminated (or included, it just depends). And there are other aspects of my past lives (ha!) that make me a person of interest or a person that gets immediately excused by the judge.

Ya know, it's been a weird life thus far.
Bramble Scat

*FOOTNOTE: wheeeeeeen will I get to go through another airport again??!?

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