Sunday, May 31, 2015

My Night on the Town, or on the Campus, Anyway

I snapped a quick pic of Glyneth between songs.

I was feeling bored. The almost-doctor told me I could go for walks, play my instruments, watch mindless TV socialize without booze - basically anything but run or study. Judge Alex suggested dancing. At first it seemed like a lame idea, but one of the guys from one of my study groups stopped by, and I asked him if he felt like going dancing. He said yes.

Our options are limited around here. Clubs don't want anyone under 21, and I avoid frat events the way normal people avoid the ebola virus. The guy checked on his phone to see if anything semi-official was happening on the main campus of our university and found something. We had fun and stayed for over an hour.

Afterward as we  were walking to his car, we noticed a coffee house sort of thing with an an open mike. He said we should go inside because he'd heard that a particular girl sometimes performed there who is so bad that it's seriously funny. No one has any idea if she's in on the joke and it's all an act, or if she's for real. 

First this really funny guy was performing briefly. We're not supposed to take videos while we're in there. Everyone else probably does it anyway, but I'm rule-abiding by nature. I found a video of him on Youtube and will try to post it.

The the girl came out to do her act. She claims to write all her own material -- her own music, that is. She uses existing lyrics from anyone and everyone. The bizarre thing is that she uses the very same melody for every song she performs. After every song, she announces that no one has the right to borrow her music without her permission, so anyone who wants to use one of her songs should come talk to her and perhaps a deal can be worked out. I can't tell if that, too,is part of the joke, or if she really believes that anyone would ever be caught dead singing one of her lame melodies. 

Her basic melody is something like mi, re, do, (low) la
(low) so, (low) la, do. Do, re, mi, so la (held a little longer) so (held longer). Repeat.   if there's a refrain, she goes into so, la, so, mi, fa, mi, re, do, fa, mi, re, do, (low) la, (low) so, do. That's it -- her entire melodic repertoire. She makes necessary adjustments so that the words sort of scan, but they don't always scan well at all.

She sang "Jesus Loves Me" (making a point to announce that she was being ironic in singing the song as she considered herself very Jewish this week), "Proud Mary,"  "State of Shock" by Green Day, "Some Nights" by Fun, and Dan Fogelberg's "Run for the Roses." She actually may have gone on forever and may still be singing; we had to leave during "Run for the Roses" because I was laughing so hard that she was giving me the stink eye. The odd thing is that this place doesn't even serve booze, but I'm sure plenty of that and worse is smuggled in. 

She introduced herself as "Glyneth" (I have no idea how she actually spells it) but said she plans on changing her name as soon as she comes up with something better. I should put her in contact with my Aunt Cristelle and Uncle Mendel. They're the ones who came up with Antarctica Meringue and Blitzen Manx. Surely they could help her with an inventive name.

For the record, Glyneth can mean-mug any of us from now until Armageddon, and can threaten all she likes, but I'm pretty sure she holds no copyright on her peculiar note sequence. So if anyone wants to borrow the melody, though only God knows why anyone would want to borrow it, you should feel free without fear of any legal recrimination.

                  the funny guy; he didn't do this song

Thursday, May 28, 2015

One cannot post too many copies of the stock phto guy who bears the uncanny resemblance to 4th-year med student cutie pie.

  1. Almost-doctor (4th-year med student) cutie pie paid his visit this morning and pronounced me out of commission for the rest of the week. It seems my hemoglobin levels are in the cellar or even lower. there's no obvious cause. The consensus (the med students have to discuss my case with actual MDs) is that it's likely a case of too much work and not enough sleep, recreation,  and fresh air, since I haven't exactly been hitting the clubs on a regular basis, or, ore precisely, not at all. Life should improve a bit when I'm allowed to run again. It's amazing what running just a mile or two can do for a body. 

  2. The condition is all presumably a combination of ridiculous studying hours, not being able to exercise for so long because of the foot, and the lovely stomach virus from a few weeks ago. It's irritated to being capacitated when I'm not even sick, but I'm supposedly lucky not to be sick.
      Because it was early enough that Matthew was still home, 
      Almost-Dr.Cutie pie didn't bring a flunkie. This was good 
      because the 4th's year students make the flunkies draw blood 
      and do the injections.  There's nothing quite like being a guinea 
      pig when it comes to having blood drawn. Injections aren't 
      quite so bad. I could do that, but my veins aren't the easiest in 
      the world to pinpoint. The 4th-year student talks the flunkie 
      through the procedure, but that's of limited value when one is 
      being stabbed repeatedly. After the flunkie's second attempt    
      yesterday (they only get two tries per patient, but I didn't know 
      this) I asked if i could just do it myself. The 4th-year guy said I 
      could try, or he would do it himself. I let him do it.

      Until Monday, I'm allowed to play my musical instruments,    
      watch as much TV as I want provided that it's not medical    
      videos, go for walks (I have a note to carry with me in case an 
      @$$hole professor accosts me and asks why I wasn't in 
      class), have very light social activity, and sleep. I'm not     
      allowed to study or even to read non-medical literature.. I 
      didn't ask about blogging because no one there knows I blog.

      On Sunday someone will show up here and jab at my veins 
      until they can get enough of my blood to determine whether or 
      not my blood contains enough hemoglobin to keep a gerbil 
      alive. The results will presumably be positive, and I'll then be 
      back in class for the final week of instruction before finals.

     This incident is really of little concern. People overwork 
     themselves all the time, and sometimes they either get sick or 
     develop anemia. my adviser's concern is that if it is happening 
     to  me now, what is going to happen in my third year of med     
     school and in my year of internship.  He said it may be that I'm 
     pushing myself harder and working more hours even that a 3rd-
     year student or intern is required to do, in which the problem
     won't be a problem. Otherwise, he said, I may need some sort 
     of 504 plan to modify my workload. As long as I demonstrate 
     mastery of the skill set and content, it's all kosher.

     I can either worry about it and make things worse, or I can 
    cross that bridge when I come to it. All I really know is that if i 
    hadn't studied like a crazy person up to this point, no one, 
    including my adviser, would be advocating for me to the 
    degree that is being done. My mom says I did this to myself, 
    which s true, but for no good reason, which is arguable NOT 
    true. I'm being cut slack now to the extent even that the clinical 
    professor who dislikes me because of a single negative 
    encounter has no power to impact me.  I don't think the 
    other profs would be standing in his way to the degree that they 
    are had I not worked my head off. Hard work usually pays off 
    even if it's too much hard work. I am aware, however, that if i 
    get myself into the same situation, the powers tha be will not be 
    so sympathetic the next time, so I will not allow there to be a 
    next time.

    I've said all I care to say about this non-illness. My next post 
   will be more positive in outlook.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Not Exactly Quarantined, but Housebound

This isn't one of my 4th-year house call students, but he looks a lot like one who showed up yesterday. I like it when they send the cute guys. 

I was sent home from my first lecture because my coloring looked bad to my adviser.  He told me to stay home all day and that the Nazi sometimes in charge of Practice of Medicine cannot do anything about it. He sent three 4th-year med students to check on me during the day. Another 4th-year student is showing up in the early morning to decide if I can go to class tomorrow.

My adviser says I already know everything I need to know to ace the finals, and that my friends will share notes and review withe besides.

I don't have anything contagious. My dad ran a really thorough blood panel because I wanted to see my Godchild, and it had to be ascertained that I wasn't harboring anything the baby or his pregnant mother could catch.

Baby Andrew is so adorable. Even my friends who have never seen him before ainggree, and I don't think they were just saying it to humor me. Everyone sort of fought over who got to hold him and play with him. He won'y be seven months for three more days, and he'd already starting to let go of sofas and furniture and trying to walk on his own. His record is seven steps, but he'll be walking very soon, I suspect. He's a big boy like his daddy even though he was under five pounds at birth.. His mother is petite.

The next baby should be born early to mid July. That's a little early, but the mom has cystic fivrosis, and and she'll probably go into labor early. She's 27-qand-a half weeks a long now and is doing very well except tired a lot. After finals, i will move in and be her full-time nanny.

In June, my aunt and uncle from the Isle of Man will visit. They give their children strange names (Bliyten Manx and Antarctica Meringue). If my dad doesn't like the name someone gives their kid, he just calls the kid whatever be wants. Blitzen Manx is now known as Mutt. Antarctica Meringue used to be Kitty Carry-All, but now my dad has changed her name to Calamity Jane. She answers to Calamity Jane. They'e both very sweet and well-behaved. I can hardly wait to see them again.

In another two hours a fourth-year med school student will be here to decided my future fr the day.

Monday, May 25, 2015

BBQs When Your System is not Ready for Such Food

Don't eat this meal on a regular basis if you do not wish to build up arterial plaque in really bad places.
 My dad barbecued for my friends who are here, which was a kind thing for him to have done. Unfortunately, it was my first exposure to beef after my stomach ailment of a couple of weeks ago, and my gastric system was apparently not quite ready for beef. I'm suffering as though I ate at one of Bobby Flay's restaurants. I will probably live, but I'm in a bit of agony right now. The group, including the non-med-school students, is in my room studying. I run out every few minutes to hurl or have other issues. Studying must go on.

Earlier today we had a nice day at the beach. The Pacific along the California coastline is cold, but people get in and swim anyway as long as there is no undertow, which there wasn't. Our beach doesn't usually have an undertow, but once in awhile conditions favorable to it appear, and then everyone but the idiots stays out. The beach itself is lovely. We played football and volleyball more than we swam, anyway. I only play volleyball with beach balls. Even moderately weighted foam rubber balls can damage my wrists, and I cannot afford to have damaged wrists.

I'm supposed to be able to run up to a mile now, but the food sensitivity threw  a real wrench into my running plans. Maybe I'll be OK tomorrow. I'm looking forward to hurdling. I haven't hurdled at school when any actual track people or coaches were present. It's fun to see their reaction to a little white girl who hurdles like she's from the west coast of Africa. At another school across the bay, they tried to recruit me last fall until they found out that I was already through undergrad studies. 

The advantage gymnasts have against both dancers who become hurdlers and pure hurdlers in the 100-meter high hurdles is that we don't usually have a preferred lead leg for hurdling. In perfect conditions, this shouldn't matter. One should require 8 steps (unless one is Lolo Jones with legs that extend all the way to the Northwest Territory) to get to the first step, and 3-steps between hurdles. If conditions are somehow not perfect, however, gymnasts don't have to stutter-step (adjust the length of steps just before hurdling) to end up hurdling with the preferred leg. A potential problem here is that if you practice equally with both legs, neither leg is getting s much practice as the preferred leg of a hurdler who has a preferred leg. One can get around this as long as her bones, joints, and connective tissues are in excellent condition by practicing just a bit longer than does the average hurdler.

Lolo Jones, with her legs roughly the length of the Nile, who needs only seven steps to reach the first hurdle

In the 400-meter low hurdle, because you run on the curve of the track, it's best to hurdle with the left leg, which initially involves counting steps. (A longer-legged hurdler can make it to the first hurdle in 23 to 24 steps. I was not so blessed. It took me 25 to 26 steps on most days. might have been.still, if I had to hurdle with my right leg even on a curve, it was preferable to stutter-stepping in term of lost time, so it was still an advantage.

The decided disadvantage to most gymnasts as hurdlers is that we're not usually 5'8". I'm shortish (5'3") but that's big for a gymnast, and my height is in my legs, so I wasn't as disadvantaged as  most former gymnasts would have been in hurdling. 

The bottom line for me was that my legs were enough shorter than those of the competition that it took less time to get them started, and the race was too short often for them to make up the time.  The shortness became a detriment in the full 400-meters, where the longer-legged girls had plenty of distance to make up for lost time at the beginning of the race. 

The "sexy" outfit I wore to capture the males' attention during presentations

If you're a former gymnast who desires to hurdle, go for the 100-meter races.

My study partners are growing impatient with me. They don;t care about hurdling, or long or short legs, or the number of strides it takes to reach a hurdle. They want me to focus both on abdominal aortic aneurysms and on arterial plaque buildup, the locations it is most likely to occur, and the relative dangers of each. They're all total buzzkills, but I'll stop my dissertation on track and field and share with them what I memorized five weeks ago. I'll help them as long as my gastric system allows, anyway.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bobby Flay-ming @$$hole

I have no clue as to why Bobby Flay looks the way he does in this picture. Perhaps he groped the wrong person's sister, girlfriend, or wife. Then again, maybe he tried to ride one of his race horses and fell off.

The Bobby Flay/Stephanie March split, which started out ugly, appears to be growing even uglier. Flay now claims that March's health problems -- including endometriosis and a ruptured appendix -- are a result of a vain cosmetic procedure -- specifically a boob job. I'm not sure where and when Flay obtained his medical doctorate. I don't have one either, but I'm three years and two weeks closer to having one than Bobby Flay is.  Wait! Make that seven years and two weeks closer; Flay didn't go to college and was a high school dropout. 

So I'm not sure where Bobby Flay got his apparently highly reliable medical information that a boob job, good or bad, can cause one's appendix to rupture. Such hasn't been taught in any of my courses yet this year. Perhaps it's a second-year topic for study. Third and fourth years are largely sent in clinical rotations, with some lectures and research time  but limited classroom  hours. Where bobby Flay is concerned, however, it's largely a moot point. He's not going to any medical school anytime soon.

Flay appears to be grasping at straws, or more appicably, grasping at boobs, which is something at which Flay has grown quite proficient.  He had the reputation of a womanizer long before Stephanie March met him. When he fell in love with her, he appeared to change for the better. Alas, the change was temporary. A true leopard isn't going to change his spots, a zebra is not going to change is stripes, and a serial adulterer isn't likely to change his adulterous ways. The whole thing makes me incredibly sad, as theirs seemed like such a fairy tale relationship.

If my information  is correct, Ms. March has been suffering with endometriosis for a long time -- long before any boob job ever happened -- and to criticize an actress for  a cosmetic procedure is roughly akin to criticizing a neurosurgeon for having cataract surgery.  Expectations regarding appearance come with the territory of being a female in the entertainment industry. Actress Patricia Heaton has openly discussed the topic, detailing what procedures she's undergone, explaining the need, and going so far as to tell "normal" women it's not fair to compare their own appearances to those of women in entertainment, who must go under the knife unless they are willing to drastically limit the jobs for which they will be even considered.

When I first became aware of Bobby Flay, I was not impressed. I found him to be haughty and full of himself. He blamed the public perception of his cockiness on his being a native New Yorker. While I'm not an expert on the subject of the personalities of native New Yorkers, I'll venture a guess that not a huge percentage of them walk around with the aura of arrogance Bobby Flay seems to exude. Stephanie March appeared to diffuse some of the air of pretension surrounding Flay, but now that she's no longer in his life, the hubris has returned, if anything, stronger than ever. 

Didn't Flay say initially that he would take the high road regarding accusations in the divorce battle? Perhaps I dreamed it and he never actually said it, but either way, he's certainly not taking any high roads in even mentioning his estranged wife's cosmetic procedure, mush less in detailing it and blaming it for her ruptured appendix.
and even had the cosmetic procedure been the cause for her ruptured appendix, is that really a good reason for him to be anywhere but at the hospital while his wife is having her ruptured appendix removed? With husbands like Bobby Flay, who needs enemies?

Go back to high school, Bobby Flay. Perhaps you will learn there in a biology class that there is a considerable distance between a human breast and an appendix, and surgery on one doesn't typically cause the other to rupture. And, ideally, go to a high school that teaches manners along with the standard curriculum you lack. Learn to pronouuce chipotle while you're there. (Hint: it has  three syllables when pronounced properly.)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

When Teachers Are Too Lazy to Teach: Student Presentations

what the auditorium looked like during most of the presentations

Depending upon one's schedule, finals are from fourteen to sixteen days ahead of us. For some reason, the great brain trust in charge of our Human Health and Disease course thought it would be a fabulous idea for us to waste a full class session (it was actually more than a full class session; we started early to ensure that there would be time for all presentations) with student presentations on various topics related to our course of study. Five professors, lecturers, or whatever they choose to call themselves, sat in the rear of the auditorium for the purpose of evaluating us.

Despite my occasional denigration of some of  their respective abilities to teach us, I would venture to surmise that any one of them could have made better use of our time by lecturing to us about any subject even vaguely related to the cardiopulmonary aspects of human health and disease than was actually made of the time with our lame presentations. 

Some presentations were better than others, of course. Some students know more than others, obviously. Other students know a great deal but are horribly uncomfortable at speaking to a group of one hundred or more people, which is probably why they chose to go into medicine as opposed to something more like acting or motivational speaking. 

Mostly the experience was incredibly boring, but those of us with at least minimal social graces tried hard to pretend that we were interested in everything that each presenter had to say. It's hard enough for a shy person to speak in front of a large group without seeing people in your  audience using their ipads or playing with their cell phones. (At least with ipads, one could pretend to be taking notes, although we're supposed to use our official laptops for that purpose.) I'm not quite sure A) why it was not announced before the presentations began that such use was prohibited, as professors and lecturers would never allow students to play on their phones during lecture;  or B) why the offending students lacked the human decency not to engage in such behavior.

Had I been a meaner person, I would have taken a mental note of which students were being rude during the presentations of others and would have organized an attention-boycott of the rude students' presentations, but I'm not quite as unkind as I sometimes come across in this blog. Some of the ruder students were every bit as flustered in their presentations as were the most shy students there. I would not have been a guilty party to adding to their stress.

I even helped "Bimbo." She was struggling for terms. As I knew her topic relatively well, I quickly came up with a list of terms that might elude her grasp. I scrawled them on note paper with markers and discreetly held each one up when she seemed to need it. I don't think anyone knew other than the students seated on either side of me and perhaps the one directly behind me. She made it through her presentation without totally falling flat on her face, and actually thanked me afterward.

Matthew did predictably well. I wrote a large part of his content, but anyone could have written it. The skill was in the presentation. A few students  are sufficiently  good presenters that they could hold just about anyone's attention. Matthew is one of such people, along with Kal Penn and The Cool Guy.

I had the privilege of presenting dead last, after even those who might otherwise have had  vague interest in anything I had to say were already zoned out far beyond redemption. As a last minute addition, I pulled up a joke video of the features of the latest iphone, put it on the available screen,  and started my presentation with it. Less than a minute into it, I cut it off, mentioned that speaking of phones, we could probably all live without ours for the next four minutes, and asked students to put theirs away, then waited while they complied. I got a few scathing looks, but no one was on his or her cell phone during my presentation.

One of my proper little Asian friends said that my presentation would be enhanced by my appearing more sexy. She had her younger sister from up the peninsula take the train down to do my makeup and bring me sexier clothing. I started out wearing an over-sized blazer, but took it off once I semi-had the group's attention. After that, I actually did have the attention of the males. My topic was asthma as related to occupation. Most of it involved showing videos my friends had graciously  traveled all over northern California on weekends taping for me. They had to pretend to be miners, teachers (we were fortunate enough to find a teacher that would let us use her classroom full of students; I think she had parent-signed-waivers, but just in case she didn't, I will not post the video; the  kids were great little actors who wheezed and coughed right along with Kal Penn as he was trying to teach while wheezing), farmworkers and farmers (I caved in to stereotypes: Raoul was the farmworker; for someone who does not even speak Spanish, he does a great accent), occupational cleaning, and hairdressing (The Cool Guy portrayed an awesome hairdresser).

My strategy was to speak as little as possible, have good visuals, and be quick and to the point. My brevity allowed the class to leave two minutes early, so everyone loved me at least for the thirty seconds it took for them to get out the door.

All of this would have been just delightful had we done it three weeks ago before everyone was stressing out over prepping for finals.  The word on the street, however, is that once a person attains sufficient education to be in charge of a medical school program, he or she loses whatever common sense he or she once possessed.

Because it's Memorial Day weekend, Matthew and I traveled home. We brought along  two friends -- a girl whose family lives in Taiwan and Kal Penn, whose family lives in the Midwest. We'll study, but not a hell of a lot. Jared and his cousin Alyssa are coming over in just a bit. Jared has applied and been accepted to a med school not far from where I will be. We can see each other on occasion, or at least a lot more than we currently see each other.

Happy Memorial Day! I will remember to honor the veterans who gave their lives (and even those who did not) to ensure the freedoms we now enjoy. May it ever be thus.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Catholics aren't perfect, either -- or at least the Interim Parish Priests aren't.

I think PeeWee is attired more like a Bishop or a Cardinal than a simple priest, but you get the idea.


My next series is supposed to be about the Cravens family, but that was set for tomorrow, anyway. In the interim, something happened that may cause me to switch from Catholic to Protestant. I'd never go so far as to find my way back to my LDS roots, but mainline Protestantism isn't too beg a stretch.  In the end, though I'll simply avoid the offending parish as though everyone inside it had a massive case of head lice. I don't take religion that literally, anyway. I think it's there to be a source of comfort for those who choose to utilize it as such and, under the best of circumstances, an inspiration to lead a better life and to spend a bit more of one's time and means in helping others less fortunate. Some do not even need religion to achieve this. To such people, I tip my hat.

This morning, after a whopping one hour and thirty minutes of sleep (I was supposed to get a grand total of three hours and forty-minutes of shut-eye) our house phone rang. I was too far into the depths on unconsciousness to even hear it, my brother, who is a morning person, hear it, answered it, and summoned me to the phone with "Some man wants to talk to you."

I dragged myself out of bed in my state of incoherence to mutter a less-than cheery "Hello" into the phone. The caller was a fill-in parish priest for an actual parish priest who was on sabbatical. The parish was not the one closest to our condo, but it was only  a bit more than a ten-minute drive from our condo. Unlike Mormons, who are assigned to congregations, Catholics attend whatever Catholic parish suits their fancy with no repercussions whatsoever from either the locals or from the big boys in the Vatican City. Even without the mandate to attend a particular parish, it somehow works out. If a parish becomes too sparsely attended, diocesan leadership tries beefing up the parish with a more popular priest, better music, more youth programs, and other things, if it still doesn't work out, they close down the parish and assume Catholics who really desire to attend mass will find a place elsewhere to do so. I'm digressing, however, from my main point of the morning.

I had played for one wedding and for one funeral (both for members or relatives of members of our med school community) at the parish, but had not dealt with the interim priest, as the actual parish priest had not yet gone on sabbatical on the two occasions on which I played. The interim priest, who had a remarkably de-nasal voice, explained to me that the usual church organist was sick with an acute intestinal ailment, which is far more information that I'd want someone giving  about any sickness to a stranger or even casual acquaintance. I should have taken my cue in terms of the interim priest's social skills from that brief exchange.

The priest went on to explain in his whiny voice than he  had called virtually everyone of whom he knew with any musical skills whatsoever when he came across my name and phone number in the bench of the grand piano and decided it probably wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to give me a call.  It was such a vote of confidence, and gave me such a thrill to have been thought of when the need for a church musician arose[sarcassm font].

He explained that the usual fee was $125.00 for being the primary provider of music at a mass, but since I was an unknown quantity as far as he was concerned, he would do what he could to come up with $100 dollars for me. The payment, whatever it was, would be in cash from the morning's offerings, and I would need to sign a receipt for it. 

This should have been my first clue that my time would have been better spent in bed, but I was raised to help out the church when it has been practical for me to do so, I inquired of the time of the mass, which was eight-thirty. The de-nasal priest voice on the other end of the line told me I would need to be there half an hour early at an absolute minimum.  Fool that I am, I agreed to the terms on the rationale that it was the church and the people I was helping, not the priest lacking in social skills.

I hung up and staggered to the shower. I heard my brother hollering at me through the bathroom door, asking where I was planning to go. "To mass," I answered. "A parish not far from here is without  musician this morning."

"Are you crazy?" my brother hollered back through the door. "You haven't even had two hours of sleep!"

"I'm sure God will appreciate the sacrifice," I yelled back through the door.

"Just don't fall asleep at the wheel and kill yourself or someone else on the way there or back," he muttered. "I'll take care of your share of the food for study group this morning." He really is a kind soul.

I left at 7:35 to allow for traffic even in the nonexistent traffic of Sunday morning since I was told by the penguin-like priest that I must be there at least one half hour before the service was slated to begin, and I didn't want to cut it close lest the Lord strike me dead or lest I bring some other equally severe act of retribution upon myself.

I arrive at 7:48 precisely to find every door to the building locked. I know, because I checked and knocked on each one of them. No one answered. I went next door to the rectory and rang the bell once as 8:00 -- the absolute latest mandated minute of my arrival -- approached, and still not a soul other than myself was onsite.

Finally, at 8:12, a man showed up with a key to the front door. He really didn't want to let me into the place -- I must have the appearance of a thief or a  vandal -- but I was able to plead with him that the priest had threatened me with  lenghty purgatory if not outright damnation to outer darkness if I were not inside the building twelve minutes ago, so the man took mercy and allowed me inside the sanctuary. I made my way up the rickety stairs to the choir loft, wondering if Worker's Comp would have  covered me if I'd fallen and had been seriously injured, I answered my own question: No. The priest and everyone connected to him would have had me declared an intruder and would've had me arrested before allowing me to be placed in the ambulance, and I would have been hand-cuffed to the stretcher for my ride to the hospital. 

I looked at the organ, which appeared to be more a piece of junk than anything else as church organs went. It was locked, but the lock was much like the lock on most suitcases, in which virtually anyone's suitcase key in the United States unlocks anyone else's. The same keys also probably work for suitcases from all seven continents; I just haven't personally tried Antarctica's,  Australia's or Africa's suitcase keys yet. I took my key ring out and found a likely match. As I was inserting it into the keyhole, the strangest-looking creature in priestly vestments that I've ever seen --  and I've seen my share of strange looking priests, monks, and the like -- rounded to final corner of the staircase and called out in the most squawkishly ugly bird-like tone ever to emit from the mouth of a priest, "Stop what you're doing right now and put your hands in the air!"

For all I knew, the man held a gun, so I dropped my keys and held my hands up, "Exactly who do you think you are and what are you doing here?"

"I'm the organist you demanded to be here by eight 'clock at the very latest," I answered him. "Since no one was available to let me in until almost fifteen minutes later and the organ was locked," I explained, "I was trying to make up for lost time by unlocking the organ with one of the organ keys I have."

"You have organ keys, do you?" he demanded. "I don't suppose you're the one who has been letting herself into the building and using all of our instruments in an unauthorized manner. We intend to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, I'll have you know."

"No, that would not be I," I explained to the supposed priest [ I still was not convinced he wasn't an impostor], because i have no way to get into the building, If I had, I would have been in here well before 8:00 and would already be set up to play."

"So you think you know how to play the organ," he asked, glaring at me with beady little reddish eyes, almost as though they were discolored either from disease or possession by evil spirits.

"I know how to play the organ," I clarified. I was a piano major, not an organ major, but my mastery of the organ is far above average as compared to  run-of-the-mill Catholic organist.

"Whatever you do, do not try to unlock this fine instrument with that makeshift key you're holding. If seen more organs destroyed by attempts to unlock them with faulty keys than you've seen organs, period, in your lifetime."  The priest would have had to see roughly one organ destroyed with a faulty key almost every week of his life for this statement to  have even come close to being true, compounded by the fact that most of us could not actually destroy an organ by attempting to open it with a faulty key even if we tried, but I let the statement go unchallenged.

By this time I had a better look at the fill-in priest. He looked more like PeeWee Herman than Peewee Herman himself did, if such a thing were possible. And I don't mean he merely looked like Paul Reubens, the actor who portrayed PeeWee Herman. He looked like PeeWee himself,  having stepped right out of the playhouse or off the bicycle he finally got back from the nefarious Francis. All the priest needed was a bow in place of his cassock and half the parishioners would have been lining up for his autograph while the other half grabbed their children and ran out the door. The resemblance was positively uncanny. 

"I suppose you'll have to play the piano," Father Herman [his name in my mind regardless of his real name] conceded. (He said the word piano as though it were a swear word.) You do know how to play the piano, don't you?"

"That's what the committee that conferred my piano performance degree concluded," I answered somewhat boastfully.

"Do you have an Order of Worship?" I asked him.

"You'll have to find an usher and get it from him," he sniveled at me, making his way to the altar.

I found an usher, obtained an Order of worship bulletin, grabbed a missal, and made my way to the piano, uncomfortable with the distance that the piano, located just in front of and to the right of the altar, would place me to Father PeeWee Herman. At this point I had no reason to believe the man was not homicidal, priest or not. I've seen Law and Order, SVU. I know that priests can kill just like anyone else. My sole consolation was in the presence of the congregation. He probably wouldn't murder me or anyone else in front of a crowd of hundreds.

The cheap Baldwin grand piano was also locked, but I didn't dare mention it to Father Pee Wee Herman. I quietly unlocked it with one of my three standard church piano keys, opened it, and began playing the prelude music which would only be needed for about three minutes since so much time had been wasted getting into the building, establishing that I was neither an intruder nor a vandal, and unlocking instruments.

I played "Joyful, Joyful, We Adroe Thee"as the priest and his helpers, including those carrying the host, made their way down the aisle. Father Herman paused to give me a death glare as he proceeded up the steps. "It's the wrong song," he hissed at me, loudly enough that those seated in the back pews could robably hear.

"It's what the Order of Worship says," I countered. 

"Then the order of worship is wrong, wrong, wrong!" he again hissed loudly.

He began he greeting by apologizing to the parishioners about the quality of music. "This organist doesn't play the organ," he lied. "It appears she doesn't play the piano all that well, either. I suggest we pray for the quick recovery of our regular organist."  Some people gasped. Others giggled.

He rolled his eyes at me when I played the Kyrie Eleison. I played the one that was indicated in the order of worship, and the soprano soloist was apparently prepared to sing that version, as she didn't miss a beat.

He rolled his eyes at me again during the Lamb of God. The soloist just shrugged at me.

The Offertory hymn was one called "What I have I will Give Thee." He cut me off. "It's the wrong song!" he bellowed. 

"It's what the Order of Worship says," the soloist responded. 

"Then the Order of Worship is wrong wrong, wrong again!" he ranted. "I obviously need a new secretary." 

Some man near the front of the sanctuary whispered a little too loudly, "We all need a new Interim Priest." Father Herman heard it and turned red. 

"Bad things happen to those who speak ill of the Lord's anointed," he admonished in his most PeeWee Herman-like tone yet. I half expected someone to say the secret word and for everyone to burst out screaming while bells and whistles rang.

"What do you want us to sing, Father" the soloist asked exasperatedly. "How about something sane like "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name." I began playing it before anyone else could argue. The soloist sang along, shooting me sympathetic looks.

He didn't like the Agnus Dei, either, and rolled his eyes at me again.

Then came the recessional hymn, which was some text to the tune of "All Creatures of Our God and King." He started to protest, but the soloist just bellowed the words right into the microphone so that he couldn't have been heard even if he had protested. The mass was finally ended, and we went in peace to love and serve the Lord, but there was still the small matter of financial compensation.

Under ordinary circumstances, I do not come right out and ask for money. An agreement is reached before, but I don't go begging for the money after the service if payment is not forthcoming. If it appears either than the congregation,  or that the family in the case of a funeral, is not wealthy, I hand the money back. In this particular case, I chose to go against my principles and ask for the money since Father PeeWee Herman obviously wasn't making a point of offering it.

I approached him. "The payment, Father? You told me that the regular organist is paid $125 per mass, but that even with my limited skills, you would pay me $100 cash out of today's offering."

He looked aghast. "That was before we heard you play. You are the one who should be paying us for the use of our instruments to perfect your skills. Now go away and don't come back."

The whiny nasal little bitchface does not know how to speak quietly, apparently, and many parishioners heard his words to me.
Ladies started taking twenties and fifties and hundred dollar bills from their purses. Men were removing bills from their wallets. After my hands were full, I said "Really, this is quite enough," but they kept giving me more. One lady gave me a silk clutch purse to put in all in. I didn't count it until I got home, but I came out of the deal just over $1100 richer than I was before I started the day. It was definitely the most profitable piano-playing experience of my career.

The only really bad part, after the fact, is that one of the professors -- not one who is lecturing my current classes, but one I see in the halls. was there. I'm afraid he might tease me.

Studying was more or less a lost cause for me. I got into my swimsuit and climbed in the hot tub in my parents' master suite in our condo. everyone brought food in and we studied a bit while they all ate. I wasn't hungry. Then i went to sleep. The Asian girl was kind enough to make note cards for me about everything we covered.

I don't blame you if you don't believe this story. I wouldn't believe it if I had not been there to witness it.

background to establish a premise for my next post

the Salt Lake City complex know n as Temple Square, with a few outlying buildings

I cannot recall if I've ever mentioned this family before. -- it seems I may have mentioned them at least once, but my memory is so filled with facts concerning hearts, lungs, and blood that I'm easily confused about other more mundane matters -- but there's a family who formerly lived in Laie, Hawaii. Obviously there are many families who formerly lived in Laie, Hawaii, but this particular family is noteworthy for a few reasons in particular. 

The father of the family, William Cravens, was the director of the Polynesian Cultural Center for most of the time my uncle's family lived there. The Polynesian Cultural Center is a major tourist attraction at the juncture of windward Oahu and the north shore of the island. It's a multi-million-dollar business operation for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; it exists primarily to provide job opportunities for Polynesian students attending the Hawaii campus of Brigham Young University, most of whom would not be able to afford tuition and living expenses without such employment. It's  presumably also a major source of financial windfall for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints beyond what the students are paid, but such information isn't easy to access; one can only assume.

William Cravens served in a lay leader position (LDS clergy are unpaid except at the highest levels, as in those who oversee things from headquarters in and around Salt Lake City. Cravens was, during most of the time my uncle's family lived there, the President of the Laie Stake of the church. This position would be considered the rough equivalent of a Roman Catholic bishop's position. A great deal of public speaking is required, along with the establishment and maintenance of budgets. If members of high standing are considered for church discipline (excommunications, disfellowshipments, and such) the stake president oversees the proceedings.  He chooses bishops (roughly equivalent to parish priests) for local congregations. He oversees bishops as they oversee their wards, which is the name given to local congregations.  It's a large job with little monetary compensation 
(I've heard bishops and stake presidents receive possibly a small mileage stipend, but it wouldn't have gotten a person far  even with the prices of gas having been what they were in the 70's and the 80's.) 

Being either a bishop or a stake president would have to be considered a rather thankless job, with the only real payoff being prestige. Many Mormons are quite taken with the prestige that goes along especially with being a stake president. Once in a great while, the position leads to an actual paying job in Salt Lake City, but there are few of such jobs available in the grand scheme of all the Stakes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints all over the world. Unless one is extremely fortunate, one must possess an incredibly highly esteemed pedigree to even think of ascending to the upper echelons of LDS church leadership. Certain surnames just keep popping up over and over among those paid Salt Lake City positions of real leadership. I suppose it could be sheer coincidence -- men born with surnames such as Packard,  Eyring Kimball, Romney, Richards, Callister, Christofferson, Young, Smith, Clark, Scott (or men married to women with the surnames) may just happen to be more righteous than the rest of those who might be called upon to fill the positions.  Periodically a few obscure names will come up in the quorums of the seventy and such, and occasionally in one the the really Big Boy Positions you'll get an Uchtdorff to prove the church is not truly north America-centric. Still, by and large, those with the tried-and-true pedigree surnames (or those married into them) are going to be the ones we see advancing up the ranks most rapidly and will be those who will create the policy to which the rank-and-file Mormons must adhere.  I suppose it could be sheer coincidence, but what are the chances that men with the pedrigeed surnames (or those men married to women with such surnames) are so much more righteous and more worthy to lead the flock than the millers, Ybarras, and Medeiroses of the world? God himself supposedly chooses the names. Is God's knowledge of surnames really limited to only about two-hundred? In addition to the new and inspiring Uchtdorf, which suddenly sprang to His almighty lips, or is there more to this story.

Admittedly, while the lowly membership has the agency to follow or not to follow, on the bottom-line issues,such as paying a full ten per cent of one's earnings to the church in addition to other offerings, one must accede or risk a penalty as harsh as being denied attendance at one's own child's temple wedding if one chooses to be on the wrong side of adherence.. This may sound like hyperbole on my part, but I can assure readers notin the know that it has happened many,many times in the past (and even more times to extort the desired funds) and will  continue to happen. One does not need to take my word regarding this matter. Ask any knowledgeable Mormon or even poke around the site at mormon,org. The information may be buried between paragraphs about the Plan of Salvation or Joseph Smith's First Vision, but it's there to be found, though perhaps worded cryptically. 

I promise to return to my original topic , which was to be the Cravens family, tomorrow, Some of them are, admittedly, nice people, but some of whom are not, in the opinions of close friends and relatives.

Regardless, it's pushing 5:30a.m., and I have a study group showing up at my condo for brunch at 10:00 a.m. I don't wish to begin this last push before finals in an exhausted state before it even begins. The Cravens family can wait a few more hours.

And, in case my parents are reading, I understand that I must print material that can be backed up by reputable print sources or by my owns sources who will testify on my behalf  should it come to that. I'd like to believe that the Cravens family has bigger fish than I to fry, but one never knows the size of fish to which one will stoop for his or her next meal.

Goodnight to all of you, who are probably beginning your day by now.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

No More Midterms This Year

my latest nightmare\

My conscious mind knows I must have done a reasonably good job on all three mid-terms, but when sleep hits and my dreams take over, a whole different reality sets in. Still, I'm glad they're history. I won't know until Wednesday how i did officially. The grades are officially pass/fail, but most of the profs will tell us more if we want to know, as in just how far from "pass" or "fail" we actually were.

Today was reserved for everything except anything academic. I don't have clearance to run yet, so I went diving instead, which was fun. I'm not as good as I was back in the day, but I can still avoid embarrassing myself in public of no Olympians are standing around watching. 

Tomorrow my overachiever study group meets to study again. Because we just had a midterms, it will be as much socializing as studying, but we will get some work done. It's only three weeks until finals, and in less than a month I'll be on my final summer vacation of my life.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

We Thank Thee, O God, for Funny-Looking Prophets

Gordon Hinckley

I seriously would've cut off the Yoda juxtaposition if I'd had the time. I personally think the picture would be at least as funny without Yoda horning in on Spencer's publicity, anyway..

Focusing upon appearance is shallow, but,  at least when I'm not studying heavy academic content,, I'm as shallow as the next person.

My most recent  point of shallowness is as follows: In a field of often funny-looking men, which one is or was the  funniest looking? We're  talking about the men in their  living states. Plaster death casts do not count.

Anyhow, of all LDS General Authorities  past and present (even consider Warren and his band of fundie authorities if you so desire; I'm not picky), which one has or had the finniest appearance?

If you're offended by this blog, please ignore it. If you leave any comments complaining about my degree of shallowness, I will probably delete them because I already know how shallow I am. I don't need to hear it from anyone else. Furthermore, don't bother telling me how plain, ugly, homely, or otherwise funny-looking I am, because I'm already well aware that I'm no Miss World or Playboy Centerfold. I also know that the advancement of age isn't going to be a great friend to me in terms of the development of my physical beauty or lack thereof. So make your insulting comments about my appearance if it helps you to feel better about how shallow and evil I'm being, but I WILL delete the comments unless they're REALLY funny.

Give me a freaking break.  I'vee  had an incredibly tough day. I killed an already dead cadaver, among other atrocities, at school today. It's midterm exam time. I am trying to maintain what little sanity I have left. This pseudo- survey is helping me to do so.

I believe Gordon Hinckley and Spencer Kimball to be the two funniest-looking GA's of all time. That's merely my opinion, though. Let us hear what others think.

If finding fault with my syntax, spelling, sentence structure, or any other aspect of my English usage allows you to feel better about yourself, by all means take whatever shots at my writing that you feel so inspired to take. This is all about feeling good.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Tests, tests, more tests, still, and then even more tests!

One of my profs  felt our pain and thought he would tell us a cute little joke to make us feel better...

There was a medical professor fond of giving ridiculously difficult exams, to which he fondly referred as "quizzies." In the midst of one such quizzie, which dealt with, among other things, gaseous transport through the body (that's not the same as passing gas, incidentally), a female student became frustrated to the point of explosion over the difficulty of the "quizzie." She threw the test paper on the floor and stomped on it. "If this is one of your quizzies," she shouted at the professor, "I'd certainly HATE to see one of your testes!"

People can be stupid, but life usually goes on.

Those were the days, my friend.  We thought they'd never end.
This is the day which the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it, If you noted a trace of irony or mocking in the preceding quote, I contratulate you on your ability to detect sarcasm.

Today sucked in virtually every way a day could suck esxept that no one close ton me, human or animal, died. The same cannot be said, unfortunately, of my patient in :Practice.of Medicine.

Keep in mind that such does not indicate that a real patient died. I would not be nearly so cavalier had a living breathing human had ceased to live and breathe on my watch. Instead, it was a Berkeley Rep "actor" expired because I failed to identify the symptoms as he feigned them in a a timely manner, which led to a delay in the ordering of the correct tests, which caused the professor to look at his watch and declare the "patient" dead. Even though it's all fake, it really bothered me, as I don't like losing even mannequins, much less living and breathing "fake" patients.  

The problem is that the  "patient" was supposed to describe the symptoms of a stroke. Instead, he was ding his best seizure imitation. I ordered 4 millimeters of lorazepam to be administered by slow drip,  (over a five minute interval, which could then be repeated in ten minutes if necessary) and ordered a CT scan and an EKG.

Instead of flailing around n a gurney, the patient should have gone unconscious, then displayed confusion, inability to speak or slurred speech, slurred speech, , weakness on one side of the body in arms or legs, numbness, difficulty in swallowing, severe headache and/or blurred vision.. 

Hasd the "victim " acted out the symptoms he was supposed to display, I would have ordered a clot buster - probably Activase T-PA.

The professor refused to even consider that the "patient" had thoroughly screwed up in acting out the symptoms. The excuse that he, the professor, gave for lack of consideration that the Berkeley Rep actor had screwed up was that sometimes patients display what appear to be atypical symptoms  just as the actors who act them out in our faux clinic sometimes display the wrong symptoms. While such may occasionally be the case in the actual practice of medicine, considerable slack is cut to the misdiagnosing physician if a patient expires quickly after displaying or reporting symptoms inconsistent with a  particular condition that ultimately did him or her in from having  caused a delay in proper treatment or causing inappropriate treatment. 

Furthermore, in this particular case, with the  diagnosis  as eventually reported  (the stoke),  had there even been one, could not possibly have been massive enough to have killed the patient so rapidly. It was the actual E.R. equivalent of an E.R. physician calling off a code and declaring a patient dead after a single  discharge from a defibrillator when thr charge had actually causeed the patient;s heart to resume function. The professor called the patient's death far too fast, even in the opinions of two other  professors, not to mention all the know-nothing first-year students such as mysef who had been in attendance, and even the more astute Berkeley rep actors. (One of them patted me on the shoulder and said, "You got a bum rap, kid," as he walked out of the makeshift E.R. The other "actors" present were all pretty hard on the "actor" I had treated. His excuse, which may very well have been the truth, was that he acted out the symptoms as he was given them and had told he was a seizure patient, -- not a stroke victim. He held up his printed instructions to prove to hi s peers that we was telling the truth. And further still, the prescription of lorazepam or any other benzodiazepene as an anti-convulsant,  immediately mid- or post-stroke is not contraindicated. Had the patient presented symptoms correctly, my only error would have been in not prescribing anticoagulants and clot busters first before giving any other diagnostic tests I ordered were appropriated whether the supected dx had been stroke or  seizure. and, in conclusion, had the correct diagnosis been consistent with the symptoms portrayed by the "patient," the administration of a clot buster would have been contraindicated and could have precipitated a life-threatening bleeding episide..

The professor who was supervising me in this case is not a favorite of any of those in the cohort who are close to me. His actions in this instance demonstrated quite clearly why most of us are less than fond of him.. The man shouted at me until his face was tomato-red.

I understand that the Practice of Medicine clinics and simulated emergency rooms are not situations designed for the amusement of the participants. Even though no one is cured, fails to be cured,  lives, or dies as a result of our good or poor medical work, it's serious business, as we, the members of our cohort, are  marginally over a year away from contact with actual patients,  The mehmber off our cohotyhad the briefest ofencounter in participating in taking vita signs in the urgent care centers, primarily for the prupose of culling out thosre among us who could not even cope with vomit or races of blood, but that experience was hardly significant in light the situations we will soon face.)

On the other hand, our Practice of Medication courses exist  so that we can have experiences and make our inevitable mistakes without actually endangering anyone. The simulation process must  be taken seriously because we're all so very close to having what will sometimes be the initial encounter with any given patent, and,  though it's not designed that such should be the preferred course of action in ant instance , in the rarest of instances as any one of us  may be the only person standing between death and life for a given  patient.

Thus, when a  lapse, misstep, or omission  occurs, it cannot be laughed off. On the other hand, one would expect that the physician/professor charged with supervising the future physician who may have erred in the diagnosis and/or treatment  of  a patient, delaying correct treatment, resulting in treatment which would ultimately cause harm, or, in a worst-case scenario (as much as anything can be a worst-case scenario when neither the patients nor the ailments are legitimate) causing "death," it would be assumed that no reason would exist for anger on the part of the supervising professor/ physician except in the event that the medical student failed to take responsibility for his or her actions or to take seriously the situation, or in some manner laughed off the mishap as being something of a joke or of little consequence.

As the medical student on the receiving end of the judgment, counseling, advisement, or whatever one might have called the session,  I can assure the reader that I did not attempt to deflect responsibility or to make light of the situation even though in this particular case, the acting patient in the case had  misunderstood or had been misdirected concerning the condition he was to simulate. I did not even bring that into the discussion. My only pleas of self-defense to my supervisor were that the tests I ordered were applicable to the scenario that the drug I had ordered, while not the first choice drug in the case of  stroke, was not only not contraindicated but would have been beneficial to the patient, and that had a stroke occurred, the stroke would have been determined to have been  of of such limited  magnitude that ample time would have been present to note the discrepancy, to then administer  the clot-busting drug. In any event, calling the patient's death was ridiculously premature.

I would have done nothing except bow my head and nod at the professor/physician admonishing me except that he went after me in front of a audience and did not merely shout at me, but asked questions and demanded answers. I've learned in my twenty years of life in this planet that there are times when it pays to keep one's mouth shut, but the  professor/physician was not taking nods and "Yes sir" and "I'm sorry, sir" as answers. My assumption was that the discrepancy in what symptoms the actor had been told to portray  and what condition my professor had been under the impression the "patient" was supposed to be suffering would eventually be cleared up, and any black marks on my record would be ultimately eradicated. It would never had been my choice to argue with the physician/professor.

As it ended up, in addition to numerous students, most of whom like me but none of whom have any clout whatsoever, two other physician professors in our  problem observed the entire fiasco. Both have seniority over the professor who raised his voice at me, so the repercussions I will suffer are limited, Furthermore, it was a mere Practice of Medicine assignment as opposed to a portion of the practical midterm we'll take tomorrow and Thursday for that class. On Friday, we'll have our midterm for the Cardio/Pulmonary facet of Human Health and Disease,

I really don't care all that much about this except that I would prefer to go into midterm exams without recent baggage of this event hanging over my head, on top of just having recovered from a nasty bout with a stomach bug and still having a slight limp from the two recently fractured bones in my foot. I had planned to surrender my temporary parking pass this week, but I've decided to hold onto it until I'm able to ride my bike again. I have enough issues without having to show up for exams twenty-five minutes early in order to find a parking space half a mile a way and limp all the way from there to my building, (One jerk has taken to calling me "Henrietta Limpett," which is an apparently obscure reference to some 60's movie starring Don Knotts. This is hardly fair, as my limp is scarcely noticeable unless I've been required  to walk a mile or because parking was so difficult,

Immediately following my having been yelled at be Dr. Idiot, I left the building that housed the makeshift clinic and made my way  a wide cement staircase -- the same staircase I  was pushed down a couple of months ago by a third-year student in a major rush, who plowed me down the steps. The staircase, consisting only of six or seven steps, is quite wide -- wide enough that there was no reason for anyone to have mowed me down to get to the bottom by anyone in a rush; there was plenty of room for the hurried student to have stepped  around me.

It was time for lunch by the time Dr. Idiot finished shouting at me, but my appetite had been ruined, As I sat on a part of the step where it seemed unlikely anyone would to need to walk, I was somewhat overcome by the absurdity of the entire situation,  I didn't want to be seen laughing too openly lest Dr. Idiot walk right past me. He has limited power to make life in any way difficult for me, but why press my luck? I held my head in my hands and laughed at the stupidity to which I had been subjected. Kal Penn [not his real name] and The Cool Guy wondered out of the building apparently in search of me. They sat on either side of me. Kal put his hand on my shoulder and said, "He's an ass. We'll all go to administration for you if you want." I looked up at him. Both he and Cool Guy were relieved t see that I was not crying.

Kal Penn suggested we all go get a beer. I reminded him that I have a bit of trouble being served in bars in the area. The Cool Guy knew a bar nearby that he was sure would served me, We took my car since I have the best parking of the three of us with my handicapped placard. We each had a couple of beers. Because I'm not yet twenty-one, Kal Penn drove. Two beers probably barely registers on his BAC. As someone not yet 21, no amount of alcohol in my blood is legal me for driving purposes.

We were late for afternoon lecture, but no one complained. For that matter, and we made out way to our seats, the lecturing professor said, "I'm really sorry, Alexis." He'd had absolutely nothing to do with it and wasn't present, but news travels fast.

All's well that ends well. Dr. Idiot obviously will not lose his job, but neither will be he promoted anytime soon. My dad still has some clout around here, plus Dr. Idiot (who , incidentally, bears an eerie resemblance to an iguana) is a complete jerk, and such behavior is not typically rewarded. Karma is a bitch.

It's on to midterms, and then we'll go from there.

It's not one of my skilled moves, but in the picture with one of my more skilled maneuvers, my hair was in my face in such a way as to make it appear that a giant booger was hanging from my nose. it wasn't a good look.