Friday, February 24, 2012

Fiendish Mondays and Dignified Gibberish

I study nuclear science
I love my classes
I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses
Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades,
I gotta wear shades
--The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades, by Timbuc 3.

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.  And it is with great penance and no regret that I return, to once again scintillate my adoring public with tiny snippets of me.

Most of you are likely aware that I recently returned to college, and in all likelihood none of you were surprised that I was silent for a time.  It’s been something over twenty years since I’ve been in the public education system, and ladies and gentlemen, it has not been a time for the faint of heart.

I began quite cleverly, as I generally do.  My classes were set to start in a staggered pattern, to allow me to ease myself into the hot bath of Wossamotta U.  My basic schedule goes something like this:

Tuesdays – Public Shrieking (or, “Never Let Them See You Sweat”)
Wednesdays – Early History USA (or, “Why White People Suck”)
Thursdays – Modern Alchemy and Breaking Bad (or, “Why Can’t Johnny Blink?”)

But of course, the roughest class was to be on Mondays – Dignified Medical Gibberish (or, “What Ancient Greeks Called That Thing That Hangs Down at the Back of Your Throat”)

Naturally, I was most concerned about my Monday class.  So I (in my extreme cleverness) established a schedule that would start off my Dignified Gibberish first, with a full week to get started, and having all the other classes begin a little later.  My most rough-and-tumble class, therefore, I could get almost a head start on. 

How clever I am.

Alas, ‘twas not meant to be.

* * * * *

Within the time-worn and much-honoured marble halls of Wossamotta U, there is a website.  And, as websites go, it works about as well as you would expect a website to work when associated with a center of higher learning.

. . . yes.

But within (or perhaps I should say ‘adjacent to’) this site is a site containing the links and data needed to access whatever you may need regarding online classes and self-paced classes.  And since I was enrolling late, my Dignified Gibberish class ended up being self-paced.  This might have given my councilor hives, but I was undaunted: I had my Very Clever Plan, and thus far my only concern was that this sub-site (which, in a fit of unbridled irony, we shall call Angel) would not open to allow access to my classes until the day classes began.  A minor concern, since in any hard-science class one will need to master the first chapter most of all, with subsequent chapters building upon that initial grain of knowledge.

That was certainly no problem.  I can wait.  And even with that wait, it still gave me a week to prepare for my first test, free from the distractions of my other classes.  

Gad, I am such a genius . . .

I accessed Angel on the assigned date, and found what we in nuclear power plant management like to refer to as . . . a “surprise.”  It seems that Angel had been open, at least as far as the pretest went.  Pretest?  Yes, pretest.  In order to unlock my Gibberish class, I had to take a primer on the Angel system itself, and pass a quiz.

Heh, heh.  Ooops.

So much for my head start.

And thus I have found myself cramming ever since.  However, I have succeeded in establishing a certain rhythm to my madness, and am continuing to experiment with schedules, planners, and explosives.

Monday night I do all reading and preparation for my Public Shrieking class the following eve. 
Tuesday afternoon I generally take my Dignified Gibberish test.  Then I throw on my very best pepper-pot dress, crawl on my broomstick, and fly to my Public Shrieking class.    

. . . fortunately, my Public Shrieking teacher is very cool.  Later that night I crack open the books and do the reading and class work for Wednesday night’s class.

Wednesday afternoon I finish up my work for Early History USA.  Fortunately, the teacher is so hip she shouldn’t be able to see over her own pelvis.  She’s energetic, enthusiastic, brilliant . . . in fact she kind of reminds me of . . .

 . . . only cooler.  And definitely more female.

After class that night, I generally start in on Modern Alchemy. 

Modern Alchemy is a five credit hour class, and recommends at least eight to ten hours of studying outside of class.  I think my highest record is five.  Modern Alchemy is also the only daytime class I have, so anything that isn’t finished the previous night generally doesn’t get finished.  This is the only class in which I’m getting a B thus far.  

(I probably shouldn't have called his test tubes "vials.")  

Still, I have another exam coming up and I am hopeful.    Who knew that knowing how many drams go into an ounce would be so useful?

In theory, Thursday evening I get a start on mastering Dignified Gibberish, without which no member of any medical trade can ever gain respect.  To this end, I make flash cards, read out loud, watch online tutorials, and lay with the unclean ghouls in the Caverns of Kadath, making their gibbering and meeping ways my own.

I write Fridays, and try to get some frolicking in Saturdays.  But the rest of the weekend through Monday I generally continue my studies into the ways of Those Who Dwell Below.  

Gibber, gibber.  Meep, meep.

Then I test in Dignified Gibberish Monday or Tuesday, and continue to ride, boldly ride.  I’m getting the hang of it all now, and I should be back to keeping up my more-or-less weekly posts.  Upcoming will be another short story, though not necessarily a bedtime tale. 


Coming soon: Stanza and the Kid.

See you then.

(Wile E. Coyote and all associated characters are (c) Warner Brothers.  Gabe Kotter is (c)ABC last I heard.  Monty Python is (c) BBC.  The illustration of the Prima Materia is a holdover from days long gone by.  The ghoul picture is from  The Scream was painted by Edvard Munch quite some time ago.  The desert photo is from  All rights resrved by original creators or publishers as applicable.)

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