Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hi, Honey. How was your day?

David's car is the in the shop. (No, really. It's great because we LOOOOOVE to spend money on car repairs. Seriously. Love it. Favorite. Best treat EVER.)

So yesterday I had to pick him up from the high school when baseball practice was over (I love how that makes him sound like he is 14 instead of coaching 14-year olds). This car trip marked the end of what had felt like a grueling afternoon--the professor I'm TAing for asked me to read three different critical articles and select the one I wanted to teach next Tuesday but to let him know by today so he could make the announcements to the students on Thursday. Seemed like a simple task at the time.

Reading the articles was not the problem--it was getting my hands on them. I already had a hardcopy of one, so that was easy. The professor sent the second one as a pdf attachment. But forgot to attach the attachment the first time, resulting in another e-mail exchange and much fingernail tapping as I waited for the next e-mail to come through. Another one was a chapter in a book on the reserve list in the library that I (stupidly) volunteered to check out and scan into a pdf, which required checking out the book and returning it within a 2-hour window.

Ordinarily this would not have been difficult. But this happened to be the day that the air conditioner was not working in the English department office so I was sweating through the dress I'd worn to teach in. And then the copy machine (which also serves as the office printer) had decided NOT to print the 23-page e-mailed pdf except in truncated versions of the first three pages. The department's computer/printer consultant dude was there but he and I had some kind of communication problem because he could not understand that half-pages of text were NOT what I was trying to print and he kept asking me if I wanted them and I had to keep saying NO because I actually CANNOT read them when the second half of every line is MISSING. I ended up having to go down to the basement to print the pdf after fighting with the copier for about 30 minutes (in between waiting for other people to make their copies so I could go back to using the copier as a printer).

To make matters more annoying, the first scan I made of the 30-page book chapter didn't go through so I had to go to the end of the copy line and wait for other people to finish and then start all over, scanning page by page. And did I mention it was HOT? Like 85 degrees in the office.

All of this took about two hours in total, which meant I had to scurry back to the library to return the book on reserve and then trudge back to office (still sweaty!) and pack up all my stuff before walking to catch the metro. I'd intended to get home from campus around 4pm and mix up something for dinner so that David could throw it into the oven while I was at 5:45 jazzercise, but instead it was 5:00 before I got off the Metro--just in time to hop in the car and go pick David up at the high school.

I was sweaty and disheveled and cranky and kind of hungry and so when David got in the car and asked me how my day was, I launched into the entire series of events already mentioned, ending with, "It was really just a TERRIBLE and FRUSTRATING afternoon and now I am hungry and tired."

I waited for David to say something sympathetic about, you know, how HARD it is to be an academic, and how technology is a monstrous beast out to ruin my life, and how the department really should pick up my dry cleaning bill because normally I do not SWEAT so profusely in dress clothes.

Instead, he looked at me and said, "I got vomited on today."

Let the record show that I know when to admit defeat. David had a MUCH worse day than I did.

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