Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Five Minutes of Foolishness

Those who follow the blog closely may have noticed that there had been nary a mention of the Real Deal in quite some time. I confess, I was a bit concerned because I left her a message and sent her a text and did not receive any response. Of course, I'm the confident sort, so I trusted my instincts that she was incommunicado while finishing her thesis. My confidence paid off. She called me tonight (after turning in her thesis) and apologized. We talked for a bit and then she asked me out for Friday. Now I'm in a great mood all of a sudden. Funny how that happens. There are two lessons here: 1. Always trust your instincts. And, 2. Always trust your instincts. (It needed stating twice.)

I was so tired when I posted the other day that I left out all the jokes. And now I've forgotten them. D'oh.

I must relate this tale about Real World. The whole methods class made an agreement with the professor that instead of a final exam we would do another paper (which made a lot of sense - the whole idea of the class is to teach you how to write a 'case study', an exam doesn't really help, but having to write two of them does). BUT, that deal was contingent on everyone showing up for the last class. If you don't show, you lose a whole letter grade. So (of course) Real World, knowing this, makes a reservation to go back to the US for Tuesday morning - BEFORE class. I told her at the time that she needed to go to him and just confess and deal with it, maybe do extra work. Instead, she did nothing. Then, she gets in a huge fight with him over her first paper and avoids him for two weeks (skips class and then sleeps in the next class).

So, yesterday, at the end of class, when everyone is still there, she just blurts out "I won't be at class next week." Big fight. We all leave. It's getting embarassing. At the same time, she gave me her paper to read for feedback...and...drum roll...she didn't have anything in it that she was supposed to. I mean, seriously, that was a failing paper. Anyway, she ended up deploying her "I have mental illness/depression" to the Prof, who being the nice guy he is, worked a deal so that she won't get docked a grade at the end of the term (something she can't afford). And this is the whole point: She's smart enough to be able to manipulate people and it's disgusting. To deploy a "disability" like that to garner sympathy so that you can basically do what you want to do (save $75) is so disrespectful. In fact, I don't know if I've every met anyone as disrespectful as this particular individual, cloaked in an attitude of respect that is (I mean, Tu Pac would have to go down as more disrespectful - but he wasn't trying act like he respected you.)

This is a clear weakness of the program. Ultimately, their standards aren't that high and that worked out for me because I couldn't pass muster with my undergrad record at more highly respected institutions. While they can let a guy like me in, someone who didn't work at all in undergrad and had very mediocre grades, and it turns out to be a good decision because I work hard, etc., there's also a tendency to let a few rotten apples in that end up spoiling the bushel, so to speak. Real World isn't the only one. There's another one who, fortunately, is in her last class and I've never met her. She's potentially worse than Real World and her actual name is 'Britain', which is embarrassing if you ask me. At any rate, there's a pool going on right now about whether Real World comes back in January. I think it's 50-50 right now and I have to say, I'm rooting for her to stay in the States. Addition by subtraction in it's truest form.

Work wasn't too bad today. I was dreading going, but it actually turned out ok. There was zero work to do for most of the day, but I asked this woman I worked with what to do about that and she basically said "chill out and don't fret it - it happens." I still don't know how to fill out my timesheet, but I'll figure that out. The good thing to know is that I'm not an island out there. She had nothing to do as well. Plus, I got a good bit of work done on my paper. I didn't select a great topic for my IPE class, but I did select a really good one for Methods. So I'm pretty into the literature now and I am amazed. Smart people can be really obtuse sometimes. Anyway, some work came down the pipe at about 4. One of the partners I work with does a lot of proposals for new business, so I'm basically doing briefing memo's about the organizations or businesses he's pitching the firm to. It's right up my alley with my research and writing skills and it can be interesting.

One thing that I absolutely detest about this country is the "English sandwich" - a term that also means "shite" or "open ass". These particular sandwiches usually have something like mayo, cucumber, white bread, and maybe something else undefinable. Not only would they never give you enough energy for the afternoon, but that's just nasty. Also, their "crisps" (we say chips) really aren't very good. I've tried a variety of brands and they're pretty much all average. There isn't a single brand that has an exceptional chip (like Sunchips for example). NOW, why is this a problem? Simple. Unlike the glorious L Street - Connecticut - 19th street corridor, there are NO other options. Literally, there are two Asian places, tons of pubs, and shite central sandwich shops. Today, Real World and I walked for an hour trying to find something else. No deal. Somebody please get Kostas a plane ticket and ship his ass over here. I need me some of that delicious pork that he makes.

I know that I whine about food a lot in this space, but you would too if you spent 50% of your day thinking about your next meal like I do. In fact, if it wasn't for some miracle of genetics, I would be a very, very fat man. Fortunately, along with the whiteness came skinniness. (That can't be an actual word.)

Anyway, I printed out some articles on the Irish Peace Process today at work that I need to go give to my neighbor. They've been having a pretty detailed debate about it the last couple times I've been over there so I went out and educated myself about it. I now know just enough to be dangerous.


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