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November 30th, 2004

Project Notebooks due...

Today is my brother's birthday. He's officially older than me again. We've both been 47 for about 6 weeks now. I called him, but got voicemail.

I worked all day on my project notebook -- on the wrap up report (what a BITCH!), and on the project manager evaluation that I'd missed. I should have taken a vacation day today, but stayed connected at work, attended the TIGR meeting from 10-11, and responded to a couple of emails from Mel.

At 5:05, I sent Tanya an AIM message saying that I was getting ready to go, and that I'd see her in class.

"What page in the Hackos books talks about Memos and Electronic mail?" she frantically typed back. Lord, I thought, She is still putting her book together.

"Hold on... checking..." I replied.

"While you're looking, how about the test results? What page is that discussed on?"

I gave her the numbers, and then she typed, "I live 30 minutes away from here when there's no traffic. And I have to find a parking spot and everything."

I was thinking, She will never make it on time.

I got to class about 20 minutes early, and I wandered into the area where Susan's office is to see if I could find a three-hole punch. I'd rather not have to do that in class in front of everyone, and didn't want to do it during class for sure. And I knew Tanya wasn't going to make it to class ahead of time with the one she was bringing. There wasn't one there. I went to Dr. Dicks' office, knocked, but no answer.

I went into this lab, and there was a guy sitting in there, whom I asked, and he pointed, and said, "Across the hall."

I found out that this is some kind of lab, and there are copiers, printers, scissors, staplers, and a three-hole punch in there. Yeah! I punched the sheets that needed it and as I was finishing up, Dr. Dicks came in looking for his name on the sign-out sheet for the A/V equipment, which is also in this room. He couldn't find his name, and I secretly wished he wouldn't.

I said, "Well, don't stress out about it, there might not be anybody ready to do their presentations tonight."

These are our presentations on our Annotated Bibliographies, which aren't due, the written part, until Thursday. We have to do a 5-minute oral presentation on them, however, and some people need to do them tonight, and some Thursday, because there are too many people to do them all in one night.

"Don't say that!" he said.

To my surprise, Lars was in the room when I arrived -- that didn't surprised me -- what did was that he did not have on purple socks. "Something's wrong," I thought.

I asked the room to those who had arrived, "Is anyone prepared to do their presentation tonight?" Much to my surprise, and delight, several were. "The more the merrier," I thought. "We need enough to use up the time so he doesn't have to start calling on people.

Rachel wanted to be the first one, and she jumped up when he asked who wanted to go first. She had said before he got there that she wanted to do hers before she heard anyone else's, and saw how much better it was than hers, which would make her a nervous wreck. I like her thinking.

It's 10 after. No Tanya. It's 20 after. No Tanya. At about 25 after, she came in. Frazzled.

We actually had enough folks prepared and to volunteer to take up the whole class with volunteers. Whew!

As soon as the class ends, Tanya comes darting across the room with her hand out toward me with what looked like scissors in them, but was actually one of those hole-punchers that punch one hole at a time.

"John. I forgot the three-hole punch. I was on the way, and I thought, 'Oh my God. The three-hole punch.' I stopped by the CVS pharmacy; they didn't have one. I stopped by," did she say, "K-Mart, them either. I got this a the Kroger. It's crude, I know, it just punches one whole at a time. I'm so sorry."

LORD, GIRL! No wonder she was 25 minutes late -- running all around time trying to buy a three-hole punch. Bless her heart!

"It's alright, Tanya. I actually got here early, and have already punched my holes."

There was a lot of drama tonight about punching holes. Erin told me she had stopped by the Kinkos on Hillsborough St. on the way to class to punch hers. She put the stack of ones she needed punched to add to the notebook, and when she took them out of the hole punch, and put them in her notebook, they wouldn't fit. The puncher was set off from the standard 3-ring binder notebook setting.

So, she had to adjust it, and then re-punch them all. "So my pages look horrible," she said. "It's not like there's one hole here and another one here that's not being used, but they're real close together, because it was just off, so it looks like little snowmen, and the pages slide all back and forth. It looks like crap," she said, decidedly disgusted.

Bless all of our stressed out messes in that class. Then she said, "This has been about the worst day of my life," and got teary-eyed.

"Oh," I said?

And about the same time, she, "My father"; me, "Your father?"

"Yes," she said. My heart ached for her.

We piled our notebooks on the A/V cart, and followed Dr. Dicks back to his office where he returned our "Management Training Plan" papers. I got a 9.5 out of 10.

I stopped at K-Mart on the way home, and bought a potato peeler. Or is it a cucumber peeler? I spent way too much time looking for a 1x15x25 air filter. The only filters they had, and they had one in that size, were those special "super duper" filters that remove all kinds of allergic crap from the air -- supposedly. They were $16.95 a piece. Of course I didn't get one. I'm holding out for the $1.99 ones.

When I opened my door at home, this huge, furry, brown spider came in with me. Oh my God, I hate spiders. I stepped on that thing faster than you can say, "Watch out, Charlotte." Dead, you know. I opened the door, and kicked it to the curb.

Courtney was at the house when I arrived and we caught up, and laughed of course, for just a bit. Then, I worked on my bibliography, while she read. I made some kettle corn popcorn, and split it with her.

At about 10:00, I stopped working, saved everything to a floppy, grabbed my laptop, and went into my room to catch up this journal.

I am absolutely exhausted. I have precious little energy for this paper, and just the thought of our "individual project," which is due on Monday, in ENG 512 sickens me. That class has been way too demanding. I so cannot wait for this semester to be over. The good news is that Dr. Katz canceled next Wednesday's class, which means this coming Monday's is the last one.

AMEN.

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