Friday, September 16, 2016

If his name is Tyler, cross him off your list.

or, in my case, literally running as opposed to running errands

Today was a doozy of a day, or it at least started out that way. I won't give you every single gory detail, but I'll share just enough that you understand from whence I come.

I've been in a relationship for a couple of weeks. The guy is an elementary school teacher currently working toward a doctorate in physics. His aim is to work in upper-level academia as opposed to research.  Let us hope that his gifts for teaching at the college level far exceed those of his teaching skills at the mid-elementary level. I sat in on a math class on a day that I had off. He might as well have spoken Turkish to those poor English-speaking students. I ordinarily don't step on toes to such a degree, but I eventually asked if I could have a try at explaining the concept at which he was so miserably failing in getting across to his students. In five minutes, I had every kid in the class clear on the concept that he had spent the previous thirty-five minutes attempting in vain to teach, and I'm not even a properly credentialed teacher. (I do hold emergency credentials in multiple subjects and mathematics.) Teaching university students (if he's ever lucky enough to be granted an actual professorship) is far different than teaching sixth graders, but a teacher still needs the ability to convey mathematical concepts verbally even at the university level.  I'm surprised he ever passed the teacher education component of his credentialing program.

At any rate, I shall not be teaching mathematical concepts to sixth graders at any point in the near future. The "teacher" and I are finished. Kaput. The relationship is every bit as dead as is Abraham Lincoln.(I might have used JFK as my example of deadness, but there are still a few wingnut conspiracy theorists out there who  believe that JFK is still alive and is being kept in a highly secluded wing of a rehabilitation facility somewhere in west Texas.)  I'm not a huge fan (though I'm not a huge detractor, either) of Taylor Swift, but she perfectly summed my current relationship with this guy, whom we shall call "Tyler" (which may or may not be his actual name) with the title of her song "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."

The immediate impetus for the breakup, which is an example of perfectly good riddance, happened when he realized in the midst of an early morning breakfast on the enclosed terrace of his apartment (FYI, I drove to his apartment this morning; it wasn't a sleepover) that he was late for an early morning curriculum meeting. He departed in haste and in not the most polite manner, though  I excuse him for that on the grounds that I can imagine what it's like to realize one is not where one is supposed to be. The issues for which I cannot quite forgive him were that A) he locked me inside his terrace, which is enclosed by ten-foot cinderblock walls; B) my purse, keys, ID, and cell phone were in his locked apartment. C) most importantly , he both tried to blow me off and failed to apologize for his transgressions. To err is human; to fail to forgive is even more human. I'm every bit as human as humans come.

I had to scale the wall (by law there is supposed to be a ladder in the terraces with ten-foot cinderblock walls, but dumbo thought it was a good idea to let a friend borrow his ladder; he would run the risk of burning to a crisp if there were a fire and the only way out was through the back, except that I extended him the kindness of ratting on him to the local fire department), then was forced to jump down and run the risk of injuring an ankle on the ten-foot drop; fortunately I'm a retired gymnast and can usually land a drop without injury, then was forced to run the roughly four miles (in scrubs, though I was at least wearing tennies) to make it to work on time, since I had no way of telephoning anyone. The doctors and nurses handed me extra scrubs and a towel, and I was allowed to go into the private doctors' bathroom to scrub up. The scrubs were miles too big for me. The drawstring on the waist of the pants wasn't capable of being tied tightly enough to actually cinch the garment to my waist. The pants fell twice during the day.  A male RN who bats for the other team made a disparaging remark that I should feel free to go braless for the day if it would make me feel fresher, as absolutely no one would ever know the difference. I could have screamed, "SEXUAL HARASSMENT"  at the top of my lungs, but the very last thing I need is to be on the accusatory end of another sexual harassment charge. I instead accused him of being jealous of my flat and tightly muscled chest and my legs as well. His man boobs are bigger than I'd want my female boobs to be.

Though some subterfuge by one of the pediatricians, my purse and keys were delivered to my office by the noon hour even though the moron initial insisted he couldn't possibly meet me or get them to me until at least 6:30 tonight. The half-wit lacked the cojones to deliver them to me himself. He had a co-worker bring them.

I was tired all day. I sprint and hurdle, but do not run long distances unless forced to do so. I probably couldn't even complete a 10K without walking part of it.  Necessity, however, sometimes forces one to do even what he or she ordinarily cannot accomplish.  I'm capable of running close to an eight-minute mile in a pinch, and I did. Then, however, I was tired all day. Some people exercise early in the day because it gives them an added boost of energy. For me, though, it depletes whatever energy supply I was lucky enough to have had in the first place. When I exercise, I do so after everything else that has to be done has been done. 

The one nice thing about the fiasco is that one of the senior pediatricians gave me tomorrow off. She said that I probably would have had Friday off because I'm going to be on call this weekend, but that my body needs the rest more tomorrow than it will on Friday.  Third-year students don't usually take on-call duties, but the pediatricians feel that I can manage it, primarily because I possess the common sense (medically, anyway) to know when I'm in over my head and to consult an actual M.D. I've been told to forward to the doctor who is actually on call any questions that are in the gray area. If in doubt send them to the E.R. or to urgent care. If semi-in doubt, forward it on to real the pediatrician on call. The pediatrician will see a log of all calls and the action taken or recommended, anyway. If a parent complains and insists upon talking to a real MD, I've been told to refer them to urgent care or the E.R., and to tell them that everything is being forwarded to the MD on call anyway, and she will call them only if she sees that there's something I've overlooked. (Anything involving a baby two months old or younger will automatically be referred to the physician on call.)

I'm nervous about the on-call duty, but honored just the same to be trusted with the responsibility so early in my career. It won't take very many interrupted weekend before this starts to get very old very fast, but I'm not there yet, and there probably won't be too many on-call situations for me this year. Furthermore, if I'm hit too hard with weekend calls, I'll get Monday morning off.
This is something with which I can live.

Girls and women of the world: avoid men named "Tyler," and think twice before dating physics majors. It's not merely the inherent intelligence of a physics major, as I'm every bit as intelligent as "Tyler" is; it's just an odd intrinsic factor which I cannot exactly pinpoint precisely, but which is, nonetheless, present more often than not.

  my philosophy and primary m.o. as an on-call practitioner


  1. Wow... that is a crazy story! You are right to ditch Tyler and find someone with brains.

  2. One of my daughter's best friends has a father who is a Physics teacher. He is definitely odd. One of my high school classmate's father was a Physics professor. She had a very rough time for various reasons. My series of 2 Physics educators, added to your oddball makes it a statistical likelihood that anyone spending a lifetime in Physics is not sympatico. The fact that I both struggled with and hated Physics may have something to do with this opinion.

    1. I think your experience is the rule rather than the exception. Physics majors may be the science department's equivalent to neurosurgeons.

      I was lucky enough to have a fabulous physics professor. I lucked upon him the first time and built my schedule around his course for the second class. He was a delightful German fellow, maybe 40, and every lecture of would have been a compelling TV program. I have a feeling that he was the exception, and the "Tyler" (which may or may not be his real name) is the rule. I'm still laughing at how intimidated he was over the phone by the 5'7" 130-something-lb. pediatrician.