Tag: University Life


“I’d have you  lot up in front of the University authorities first thing in the morning, if it wasn’t for the fact that you are the University authorities…”
– Terry Prachett

We are moving into one of the worst months of year at work: June is the month building up to the annual July 4th celebration.  This usually involves celebrity VIPs, nearly 100,000 additional people on campus, parades, hiring up to 100 more students for less than a week, and other assorted headaches.  Last year I got lucky and got married instead so I was out of town for the final crisis.

This year I may not get as lucky unless J. and I can come up with a cheap vacation idea.  And then there’s the guilt.  I’d be leaving some of the other girls in an awful lurch skiving off like that.  Plus Hennessy is getting married mere days before and it would rather shabby for both of us to disappear.

However, this nobility of purpose doesn’t make the impending event any less irksome.  It’s my job to get those darling student employees outfitted and, more importantly, in fear of the personal Hell that will await them if they don’t return every last piece of gear to me.  At the end of football season this past year, I was somehow seconded to be responsible for collecting and minding this stuff permanently even though I hadn’t been in charge of distributing it, recording who got what, or when it should be returned at the beginning of the year.  You may imagine the resulting confusion.  And my attitude about it.


This year will run much smoother since Hennessy and I have teamed up to tackle it, but problems are already creeping up.  Such as the fact that the Special Events department hasn’t given us a time to distribute stuff, and has decided that these students need only three hours of training (to take place three days before this nearly 100,000 people plus pyrotechnics rolls into town).

It’s fortified my bewilderment.  Ever since my personal equivalent of the burning of the Library of Alexandria, I’ve been thinking (again) about some of the glitches of working where I do.

The real problem with this university is, as I see it, is that it’s a combination of a business, a school district with too many children and not enough teachers, and (due to the religious background and funding) a monastery.  Which doesn’t combine too well, professionally speaking.  As a bureaucracy, resources are not always well-managed.  Administration errors are overlooked in the spirit of Brotherly Kindness, but minor problems lower down on the chain of command are punished with all the fervor of an inquisition.  And, completely at odds with religious teaching, good work is not rewarded while bad work is not scrutinized or punished.  It’s baffling.

Very Important Panic

“Fellows who know all about that sort of thing – dectives and so on – will tell you that the most difficult thing in the world is to get rid of the body…”
– P.G. Wodehouse

So, on Friday we had a majorly important visitor.  One of international consequence, influence, and meddling.  His security detail/entourage/People were on campus days in advance and had to be herded around the whole university.  I had to put together information packets for them detailing our VIP’s time down to minute increments.  It was a well-knit, flawless operation.

Until the grounds crew, digging around the Law School, unearthed a large plastic bag of large bones: partial leg bones, ribs, and coccyx. 

Cue flashes of  Ted Bundy, Jack the Ripper, Dexter, and Hannibal Lecter.  As you can imagine, it was a thrilling, suspenseful hour or so until we got an Anthropologist to inspect them (Sidenote: I really think all police departments should be located on university campuses.  Think of the treasure trove of experts at your fingertips!). 

They turned out to belong to a deer.  What a let down.

Nevertheless, the weekend was a welcome event after the excitement.  Monday has come way too early.

Spunky Chap With His Hat at a Jaunty Angle

“Strange to see what delight we married people have to see these poor fools decoyed into our condition.”
– Samuel Pepys

The Marriage Mart, of Regency fame, is alive and well on this campus.  We’re getting close to the time of a semester (directly after finals, usually) that people rush to get married before the summer term starts up.  In fact I have a small horde of friends tying the knot in the next two months.  In a year or two, I’ll be attending baby showers.

This vid gets a Tip O’ My Hat to Sav for finding it, and check out her site for another dose  (that one in honor of the mutual lambasting by colleagues, acquaintances, and Fox News we endured for our less than hateful attitude towards current events in the capital).

The Not-So-Fantastic Fox

“With foxes we must play the fox.”
– Thomas Fuller

Apparently I have pets (namely dogs) and foxes on the brain! 

I had a dream the other night that J. and I had a pet fox named Gordon.  The major drama of the dream was keeping him a secret from our landlords who were snooping around tried to prove his whereabouts.  Gordon was a sleek, sophisticated animal with delightful house manners, directly at odds with what I understand a pet fox to be like. 

See, one of my favorite pre-us-kids tales of my parents is that when they were newly married and at university, they rescued a little fox from a fur farm and brought him home.  Stanley (for that was his name) repaid their generosity by instantly behaving like a demon from the ninth circle of Hell.

Train ME will you?!

He destroyed things.  He ran away multiple times.  He chewed everything.  He was so hyperactive that they eventually tried tying him up while they were at work/school and he tangled himself in the cord to the point that he dislocated a hip (costing a hefty vet fee for starving newlyweds). 

My father thought that foxes were sort of feline so Stanley might be litter-box trained, but that plan backfired.  With a dog you can stick their nose in their mess, put the mess in a litter box with them, etc. and they will eventually connect the dots.  Evil Stanley, however, only learned to infuriate my dad by trotting into whatever room he was in, defecating on the carpet on purpose, and then running to sit in the litter-box with a smug expression as if to say, “What can you do to me?  I’m already here!  Pthfffbbt!”

One day, Stanley ran away (again) and my parents disgustedly got in the car to search for him (again).  After driving for a while, they spotted a furry smudge in the road, a tail fluttering in the traffic wind.  My mother peered at it for a second before throwing her hands triumphantly in the air (which my dad likes to impersonate when telling the story) and crowing, “It’s STANLEY!”

Such is their hatred that years later, when they took me to their old university stomping ground to show my their first house, the church they got married in, and so forth, my mother pointed eagerly to a spot on the road and said, “There!  That’s where we found that miserable fox!  Ha!”

It’s too bad they are such terrors; I think a pet fox would be, well, fantastic!

Facebook: The End of Law Enforcement As We Know It

-Lt. South

Accessory to creepiness.
Accessory to creepiness.

For the record, gentlemen, ladies do not find most of your “awesome” exploits funny in the least.  Neither do the police.  If you simply must annoyingly display your affection, stick to pulling our pigtails.  Because finding an elk, recently deceased due to an unforeseen run in with a car, decapitating it, and leaving the head on a girl’s kitchen table (shades of The Godfather) does not inspire affection.  In fact, it’s considered alarming and creepy.

Also, if you decide to engage in this sort of behavior, don’t post pictures of your exploits on Facebook for the police to find.


The American School System Has Failed When…

“These are not spirit fingers.  These are spirit fingers!”
-Bring It On (one of them.  This franchise seems to be doing the Land Before Time thing…what number are we on now?)

Go TEAM!  (Not our school, PS)
Go TEAM! (Not our school, PS)

A request for privileged parking came through to Red and the girls at parking (still muddling through a hopelessly ridiculous new system) written thus:
“I am a cheerleader and therefore require parking closer to campus.  Shouldn’t I be able to park in [names area reserved for administrators and faculty]?  It’s really important for me to be able to get to school easily.”

Diagnosis – left secondary education with tragically skewed self perception, grossly underdeveloped logic faculties, and gravitional-force-altering sense of self importance.  Good job tired cliches and cliques.

There’s a whole website devoted to such mayhem, here it is for your viewing pleasure!

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

“Sharks are as tough as those football fans who take off their shirts in Chicago in January, only more intelligent.”
-Dave Barry

funny-pictures-cat-interceptsHaving grown up in places where “football” meant something very different from it does here, as well as having parents that never really followed sports, meant I was unprepared for American Football when I came to the western United States for university.  Jane, my first roommate in the dorms, convinced me to by a student all season ticket so that I could go to the games with her, but I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect.
“It’s the stupidest concept,” I whined, “a bunch of guys get into lines and run into each other on purpose!  What’s the point?”
Nevertheless Jane painted my face, made me buy the appropriately colored tee shirt, and on game day we hiked to the university stadium.  Half an hour later I was screaming just as loudly as anyone else.

I’ll never be converted to the NFL (although I’ve developed a taste for Superbowl parties…or maybe just the snacks…) because I think that people who get paid obscene amounts of money to get a ball from Point A to Point B, the methods vary, have a severely warped sense of reality.  But I have grown to love collegiate sports for the rivalries, the solidarity, and the love of the game.

The only problem I have with my university’s football games is that my favorite coat is the color of our fiercest rivals.  So I do the logical thing.  Freeze.  I’m officially one of the faithful.

Kids These Days!

“‘So, I’m like, a new student?  And I like need a parking permit?  Do I like, get that like here?'”
“Wow.  You are scary good at that voice…”
-C., mocking the freshman, TenFour being scared

University is like, hard and stuff!  LOL!
University is like, hard and stuff! LOL!

Seriously!  Do these girls only speak in questions, or do they just naturally intone upwards at the end of sentences?  I am getting emails sans punctuation, sans capitalization, sans everything!  Numbers used as letters, emoticons, and oh the misspellings.  How exactly did they get into university, one might inquire?

Listening to them talk as they walk across campus is mind-numbing.  Between slang and poor grammar, you can barely understand what they’re saying.  The word “like” features heavily, conjunctions do not (I’m looking at you, Venice, as a English and grammar teacher to correct this is your rising seventh graders) 

These kids even dress badly, attempted Vogue meets train wreck (and not Vivienne Westwood style, either).  They don’t read signs that direct them where to go on campus.  They get in an unbelievable amount of car wrecks.  Their bikes get impounded when they chain them to “Please Lock Your Bike On A Rack Or It Will Be Impounded” signs.  They can’t make eye contact because they’re texting incessantly.

To these kids, the Berlin Wall has only existed in history text books!

Holy crap, listen to me!  I’m a GEEZER at 23…

Hey!  Get off my lawn!  ...hooligans...
Hey! Get off my lawn! ...hooligans...