October 22, 2008


Happy Birthday, to me. Helen must have had her 24th birthday on Sunday. It’s amazing how some things stick with you. She was always a step or two ahead of me. Today was super-fabulous in that it was not super-fabulous but pretty much an all around typical day. I did not have to report for jury duty as my last name does not begin with any of the letters between G and V. It was a pretty mundane day, the primary exception being that hilarity temporarily ensued at work.

Arriving a little late, I discovered that my desk had been appropriately defaced with birthday wishes and birthday clipart. O Clipart, how do I love thee. Amongst the slice-of-cake confetti that covered my desk was a single “Ultra Lubricated” Lifestyles condom. (spammers, make your funny posts below). Just imagine all of the work inappropriate jokes that this invited.

”Ewww, the nurse called, one of my kids has lice!”
“I gave Kristen lice once.”
”You won’t have to worry about giving her anything else, now.”

“I have to stop lending things to people because I never get them back.”
”Did you need that condom back? I only used it once.”

You get the idea.

Unfortunately, it’s the end of my day and I’m tired and a little sick. I really just want to go home and lie down but I have class tonight. This is all related to an event last Thursday evening.

I was about to go into my Organic Chemistry midterm exam when I got a text from my boss reading something to the effect of, “we need to talk tomorrow.” This has always been a concerning statement, no matter how gently it is delivered. At that point, I discovered that my reaction was to shrug it off and mentally toss it on the back burner, thinking to myself, “I can’t actually be more stressed out than I am now. I’ll come back to it later.” I took the test, a bit sleep deprived/stressed out and went home.

In the morning, I stopped by and chatted with my boss about being burned out. She’s right, I am burning out. We talked about my responsibility to the people on my case load (i.e. it’s ok if they all end up homeless, I don’t need to fix them) and how I am taking care of myself, or rather, not taking care of myself.

I can empathize with those kids whose lives are overscheduled and are, despite it, high achievers. The stress they feel to keep going and keep maintaining their progress 14 hours a day is just wearing. So, today, I feel ill. I really just want to go home and sleep but will be grabbing a quick dinner and then running to class. What’s more amazing is that I’m contemplating keeping the same schedule for next semester based on the level of success I’m seeing now (I did very well on my Organic Chemistry exam. I only missed one question and it was because I didn’t do it at all. Looking back, all I can think is, “Really? I skipped that one? Really?” It was an easy two pointer.)
Well, it’s time for me to run. I hope my evening leaves me feeling a bit more energized.

Posted by Mendon at October 22, 2008 4:05 PM

Oh to be so young and intrepid again. Oh wait, I'm not too too old yet. At least I don't feel it yet. So, happy showing up in this world day son! It's nice to know you. And have you.
I am sorry you feel a bit illish. Hopefully after a nice nights' sleep you'll feel goodish in the morning-ish.

Posted by: papa at October 23, 2008 12:42 AM

Why oh why couldn't you have taken o chem when I did. My study buddy abandoned me in my time of need. =P

Posted by: Hayley at October 23, 2008 3:51 PM

Happy birthday, Mendon!

We hope that soon you and Kristen can take a break and come to visit us in Scotland. Here's the picture to imagine: when you both visit us, we will insist you sleep in (we have a spare bedroom, it's cosy and warm). For breakfast, we'll cook you up a traditional Scottish breakfast. Of course, you'll need another nap after all of that food, and by the time you wake up again it will be High Tea (involves buckets of tea and loads of cakes). After that, we'll show you around Edinburgh, take in the sights before we all go out to dinner near the castle. Walking back from the castle we'll head to our local pub for a final cup of tea and finally come home to bed.

We love you, chin up!

Posted by: Ingrida at October 23, 2008 4:12 PM

Hey, Mensch.

I know what you mean about the "Really? I skipped that? Really?"

I sometimes couldn't be bothered to go back and look at the exam I had just taken to make sure I'd answered every question.

We had this professor at Case, Dr. Eck, who used to always give us exam questions that were not anything taught in class, but that could be derived from what was taught. I delighted in his exams! They were great! The learning never stopped!

Try Mnemosyne. It will make the learning permanent.

Posted by: Nathan Dornbrook at October 23, 2008 4:16 PM

Hayley, I've already lost three or four lab partners to dropping the class. I wish I'd had you as a lab partner.

Posted by: Mendon at October 24, 2008 7:16 PM

I just googled Mnemosyne. I once had an idea for basically the same thing, for Spanish flashcards, tried to get my dad to program it. He wouldn't. Wish I'd known about it when I was taking Spanish! (Maybe I should use it now.)

Posted by: Hayley at October 25, 2008 12:30 PM

Belated Birthday greetings - I've just got back from a residential youth event, please accept that as my apology for being late :-)

Advice from across an ocean is rarely likely to be particularly useful, and if you find that your current level of activity is supportive, then enjoy.

But I've been learning alot about meditation lately, and I would query whether life is about achieving things or enjoying the journey...

Much love and continuing prayers


Posted by: Helen at October 26, 2008 4:03 PM
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