Saturday, May 27, 2006

The freaking title!!!!

I keep writing titles and forgetting to elaborate on them!

'Saltwater' refers to my favourite song. It is by Chicane and in my opinion is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard...On the album, 'Behind the Sun', is a version of the song that has been remixed by the Thrillseekers. It is by far the most beautiful and moving piece I have heard in my life. I aspire to be able to create such moving music at some stage in my life...



Hola general populous...

I have had one of the worst last-two-days ever! As you will know from reading my last post, I went in to Wits yesterday to try and organise the vehicle that I need to take off on fieldwork with me tomorrow. Alas, Marcus never pitched or tried to contact me yesterday, so my day was somewhat of a waste overall. So I got fetched by my mom at around 6:45 pm due to the fact that we only have 2 cars at the moment, so I had to leave the car for the rest of the family to use.

I really don't enjoy not having my independence and having to wait for someone to fetch you emphasises that.

So I got home and two of my best friends came over, Alice and David. They had come over to watch DVD's but seeing as I got home so late they were forced (in part by my nutty mother) to have some dinner. After that we went and watched 'Tristan and Isolde' (I think that that is how it is spelt). It was a really romantic movie. I'm not one to go straight for the romances and bawl my eyes out at the ends but this one was really rather good!

Shortly after the movie was over, as well as our hot chocolate finishing, they left. I then watched a movie called 'The Cave' on my laptop while I was in bed. It was hysterical! It was so badly done that I chuckled all the way through!

Anyway, that evening I didn't sleep very well because I was so worried about the stupid car thing! I kept thinking that I had to get hold of Marcus at all costs and so I didn't get much rest. I know, it is silly but I couldn't help it!

So today I got up and drove all over trying to organise stuff for the fieldwork (GPS, some indian food that I had left at a friends house in the fridge...the usual). I also tried many times during the course of the day to contact Marcus.

I swear, he should be a spy! He is impossible to get hold of! It's amazing! I left a message on his phone, one on his wifes phone and an e-mail. I even tried to call him on his home phoneline and it told me that the number didn't exist! It was really frustrating!

Then, just as I went to the toilet, he called! It was terrible because I had my phone in my pocket but I didn't want to answer in the bathroom! So I pulled up my pants and tore out of the loo and into the garden. I got to speak to him and organised to collect the keys from him tomorrow.

Now that that had all been sorted out I went with my mother and grandmother to go see my grandad in the hospital. We went off to the hospital and as I got into the SICU, one of the nurses moaned at me because you are only allowed two people in there at once and there were three of us.

So I went off to sit in the waiting room. As I sat down I realised that my fly had been down since I left the bathroom! It was so embarassing! I had stood in my garden, sat in the car all the way to Milpark hospital from Bedfordview, traversed the full length of the corridors of the hospital, got shouted at by a nurse and walked the corridors again without noticing! I sincerely hope nobody else did either!

Anyway, after seeing him we all returned home, had some dinner and watched some really funny adverts that were downloaded off the internut. I'm off to bed now. The photo below is simply so that I have something to put on my profile. I hope it works...

By the way, I tried Toms quiz of the day and I am apparently an Out and Proud Queer.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I'm so BORED!!!

Hi guys!

I'm so BORED!!! I have been here at Wits all day and I have done every stitch of admin that I could possibly muster. And, now I have run out of things to do. I had to come in primarily to collect my animal behaviour essay, for which I got 75% (Most chuffed!) and to try and get hold of one of the lecturers, Marcus Byrne. I need to get the keys to the vehicle that I am taking off on fieldwork this weekend from him. He has proven MOST elusive and I am starting to get really worried. If I don't get hold of the keys, I can't take the vehicle at all! That would mean NO FIELDWORK!!!

Come to think of it, perhaps not spending three days in a house with minimal water pressure, no heating and a shower from hell, not to mention the fact that I still have to organise all of my meals and bedding etc..., isn't as bad as all that. It's just that I actually do need to have some data to have a successful project at the end of the year...

This is me doing fieldwork

So I've been sitting here all day, bored, and have achieved nothing. Helen and I did go to see one of our lecturers, Martin Whiting about the fact that our assignment he gave us has already been him.He sent us an 'unedited' paper that we have to review and edit and then submit to him. However, he accidentally sent us the paper that he had put all his comments and corrections on.

In hindsight, it wasn't all that brilliant an idea. We could have all gotten really good marks for this assignment if we had just kept our traps shut...We now have a new paper that we have to review.

Hindsight is a horrible thing. It's likethe universes way of saying 'Ha ha! You dumbass!'

I had a rather troubling realisation the other night while in the shower. I have had this thought many times in the past but it's the kind of thing that you think, and then slowly it slips away unil you least suspect it. That's when it hits you will all the depressive force of an asteroid.

I realised that, as there are people that really annoy me and I do not like, so are there people that find me really annoying and don't like me. It was rather sobering...

But fear not fellow internut users! I am not down at all. I actually find the idea somewhat amusing and interesting. That is probably just a lack of sleep though.

The weather here in Jozi has been really shite of late. It's really cold.

My mom has started saying 'shit' a lot! It's really funny! She will swear and then looks posatively mortified and appologises to everyone! It's hysterical!

Well folks, that is all. Hope that you all have a really brilliant weekend and that I get hold of Marcus before Sunday.

Hambani gahle...or however you spell it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Well...that was shit...

Hey all.

Today I wrote my Stats exam for the year. It's the main reason why I haven't posted in a good while. I've been keeping myself off the internut in the hopes of getting all my studying done for this stupid exam. It didn't actually work...

So the exam was horrid. I went in to write with a sick feeling that I had no clue what was going on. And to my horror, I actually had no clue as to what was going on! It was really horrible...I bullshitted my way through that paper and eventually left early simply because I had no more bullshit left to spew onto my page...

I was thinking about it on my way home today and I think that anyone who has ever had to do statistics will agree that Stats is EVIL!!! All the proof we need is in the name: Statistics. It starts with an S. What other words start with an S? Satan...sadistic...and it ends with the word 'stics'. Now, at a glance this may appear harmless, but think about it. What can you do with sticks? HURT PEOPLE!!! I think that I have conclusively proven that stats is definitely a subject of demonic origins...

So what else has been happening...? Well, my grandfather has nearly died, recovered, nearly died again and recovered again. He seems to be doing a lot of that at the moment. I may seem really cruel and callous but you have to understand, he is suffering and it has been like this for over a month now. I really wish that he would either recover or die. It is not fair for him or the family! It really is an emotional rollercoaster.

So anyway, yesterday I discovered that one of the people that works in the APES department does skydiving! How awesome is that! She said that she'll bring me some pamflets (Sp?) about it. Apparently, your first jump is only R800! That is cheaper than going scuba diving! Every jump after that is R200! I really wish I had R800!

Well I'm sorry if this particular entry is a bit bland. I have to get back into the whole blog thing after this dry period. To make up for it, I'll post the first-ever picture of myself here on my blog! I've been putting this off simply because I fear that some of my crazier (Tom and Sarah excluded as they are supa-cool) friends would find this and stalk me. I know, I'm nuts...

I'm the one on the left with the folded arms. The two in the front are my sisters and the one on the right is my frind David. The other two are my cousins, Sarah and Duncan.

Well that's it for the moment. I'll blog again tomorrow!

Buenos noches me amigos!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sorry fans!!!

Hi all! Sorry, I've been a terrible blogger. I haven't done anything for ages! Can you ever find it in you hearts to forgive me?!

Anyway, my Mom is home!!! It has been 6 years but her and my dad have finally decided to move back to SA! Dad'll be down in August! I R so chuffed...

So I've been up to a crap-load of stuff! Mostly Wits related as per usual but I did go to the movies for the first time in about 4 months! I saw 'Memoirs of a Geisha'. It was so stunning! What a beautiful movie! Almost as good as 'Hero' which is by far the most beautiful movie I've ever had the blessed fortune to watch! That's what the picture has to do with anything. I just felt very Japanese-bamboo-forestey.

Anyhoo, I've got an exam on Wednesday so I'm going to go and chat online instead of actually studying...Chins up all!

Have a smashing week!!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tuesday at last...

Hola All! I hope that your weeks are going as brilliantly as ever! Mine has been okay so far. I haven't blogged for a bit but I can't remember when it was that I last did an entry. I think it was on I'll just tell you about what I got up to yesterday and today.

Yesterday was a Monday. Need I say more... No, it wasn't all that bad. I got up and took my sisters to school and got to Wits relatively late. Because of the fact that my uncles car is ancient and keeps packing up, I am currently driving my grandfathers car which is not something to be proud of. His car is horrible! It smells funny (not that old person smell, which would be nice in comparison!) and the whole thing is just one big heap of problems. The started motor doesn't quite work 100% and the brakes are very soft. The steering wheel wobbles as your drive which leads me to believe that the axel might be bent...who knows. My knowledge of the inner anatomy of the car and how it all works together is somewhat lacking and leaves much to be desired... Anyway, the point of me telling you all this nonsense about the car is that I drove it in to Wits yesterday.

As I arrived to go to the post-grad parking area, the security guard stopped me and demanded to see my parking sticker. Now, anyone who is not a Witsie will not understand the pure frustration that are the Wits security guards. They have this belief that they are God's gift to humankind and that they are thus infallible. What they say goes and there is no circumstance under which they could possibly be mistaken, with anything!

So I arrived there and in the true spirit of Wits-securityguard-ness, the guard refused to leave his little hut thingy to come and speak to me. instead he insisted on sitting in his little shelter and send bizzare hand signals to me through the window. I attempted to reciprocate the indeciferable sign 'language' and did my own hand signals attempting to communicate the fact that I was a postgrad and that I did have parking. He simply blinked at me...

So, by now rather annoyed and just wanting to go park so that I could actually get to doing some work, I left my vehicle and stomped over to the hut. Once I got into the hut, the security guard very nonchalantly turned to face me. As I entered the hut. A million and one cars suddenly emerged from nowhere (literally!) and all of them wanted to go to the parking area! It was so unusual... I explained to the guy, while vast numbers of very irritable drivers tried to squeeze past my awkwardly stationed vehicle, that I was indeed a postgrad and that my car was broken down (truthfully, it's broken down indirectly) and so I was coming in to Wits in the other car. He was rather difficult to convince and eventually he only allowed me through on condition that he could check up on me and clamp my wheels if its not true. So I went off to my (crappy) vehicle and grinned at the really annoyed lady in the large white 4x4 while I pulled off. I then proceeded to pull off and park.

The remainder of the day progressed relatively well appart from my lecture for animal behaviour. Natasha really took the cake with this weeks first lecture. She was saying things like parsimony (the shortest route: ie, if you can go to London from New York direct, or via Kuala Lumpur, direct is far more parsimonious) is a load of crap. This probably makes much more sense to anyone who has ever studied anything to do with evolution. The other really strange thing that happened at the lecture was the fact that our lecturer, Martin Whiting, ran out of stuff to tell us and so we ended up discussing the Da Vinci code. It was really arb!

The rest of Monday wasn't really worth writing about...

Tuesday started off rather badly. I overslept. I got up in time to take my sister off to school, the other one is apparently sick, but not early enough to actually get myself ready for the public eye. So after dropping Gemma off at school I headed back home and got ready.

I then came in to Wits and had, surprise surprise, a repeat episode with the stupid security guard! He was convinced that he had never seen me before in his life and that I was lying to him. Eventually I managed to convince him that I had spoken to him yesterday, when all the very annoyed people started to pile up behind me. Apparently the image of lots of angry people behind my car jogged his memory and he recalled yesterday's incident.

I then came in and didn't really do much of value. I mostly fooled around online for the morning and then around 12:30 I, along with Laura and Vanessa, got to work on the stats that we have due for tomorrow. We got so tired doing all the stats that we ended up getting really giggly and not managing to do much work. We are about half way at the moment. We'll do the rest tomorrow morning.

Oooo! I nearly forgot! Yesterday, Helen presented me with a DVD that she had gotten from work. It was a film that I had asked her to lok out for for me. I had seen it once on DSTV and had really loved it so I wanted to see it again. It is called 'Groove'. It is all about rave culture in San Fransisco and it is such a smashing film!

The only down side is that it makes me want to go to a rave again! I haven't been to one in such a long time and I really miss it! Most people think that I am mad but the freedom that you experience and the is unmatchable! You just feel so free and like you don't have a care in the world. It is really amazing. I think everyone should try it out just once before they judge it. And I'm not even one of the candy flippers...

And so concludes our chapter for today...

Buona sera a tutti!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What a week!

Hi guys...

I have just had one of the most hectic weeks of my life! I had the essay which was due for Friday. This took up the vast majority of my time. I worked out that I was spending an average of 13 hours at Wits every day for the past 4 days! Thursday I spent 14 1/2 hours at Wits working on my essay. That's why I haven't posted since Monday!

I also had to present some papers to the animal behavour class that I am doing this block. That required me finding papers, reviewing them and then leading a discussion on them in the lecture. It went surprisingly well! Especially considering that Helen and I finalised what it was we were going to say 5 min before the whole thing was due to happen!

I have had some amazing things happen to me this last week! Firstly, Natasha, the annoying chick from our honours room, embarassed herself in the most humiliating way! It was hysterical! I realise what a bitch I sound like but if you knew Natasha, you would definitely understand!

She recieved an e-mail which contained tons of soft porn of guys with strategically placed tupperware containers, if you know what I mean. Apparently, the containers didn't hide much anyway. So, apparently she had downloaded the images in question onto her USB flash drive. She then forgot about them.

Later, she had to take some papers to one of our lecturers. So she put the papers onto her flash drive and took it off to the lecturer to give them to him. As he plugged in the drive, the autoplay setting kicked in. It was set on the show images as slideshow option. So, to her horror all of her soft tupperware porn proceeded to slowly drift across the screen in front of the lecturer. She then proceeded to totally freak out. Apparently the lecturer then just got the documents off the drive and gave it back to her. She then ran off to the honours room and burst in shouting something along the lines of 'I have just had the most embarrassing moment of my life!!!'

The absolute best part about the whole thing was that the lecturer hadn't thought anything strange was happening until she lost it. The lecture that she was supposed to give was on sexual selection and so the lecturer had simply assumed that they were visual aids. He later joked that he wanted more photos of woman to even the scales a bit.

Naturally, after about 2 hours, everyone had heard about it and Natasha proceeded to make herself very scarce...;-)

The next amazing thing that I have had happen this week is that I have been offered the most amazing project for next year! I will be doing my masters project and so I recieved the offer. Now, I don't want to jinx it so I won't describe it just yet. Also, should anyone in my department find this blog, I don't want any competition for the project!

I'm totally psyched!

Anyway, this weekend is just for resting, as I REALLY need it! I'll write tomorrow...


PS. I really need to go to a rave! I haven't been for so long!

Monday, May 08, 2006

I'm back!

The subject line if this is supposed to be read as one would say the 'Honey' part of 'Honey, I'm home'. You know, all sing-songy...

And thus concludes another day. I guess I should tell youa ll about what happened yesterday as well as today...


Today was rather...interesting. I went with my sisters to church and proceeded thereafter to my grandmothers house for tea. I realise how quaint and prim this may sound but it is a tradition that my sisters and I got to have tea with my grandmother after church. It's really nice and she loves to have us over to eat her biscuits. I think that that is often the sole purpose in a grannies life: to stuff their grandchildren with sweet things.

Anyway, after that, I returned home, with siblings in tow and we got to work with helping my grandmother with lunch. After the lunch, I went and checked my e-mail and sent out an e-mail to all the people who needed to know about the essay extension informing them. I then discovered that my cousin was online at the same time. So I ended up chatting to him on MSN messenger. Helen was also online so it got a little exciting trying to juggle the two conversations. Strangely enough I didn't manage to screw it up and send something like, 'Helen is driving me nuts! She is so irritating!' to Helen. Not that she is at all but knowing my luck, I would pull off a stunt like that...

So after wasting time online when I should have been working on my essay, I got a call from my mom. It was really nice to hear from her again. I really love chatting to my parents. Somehow they make it feel like my life isn't trying to devour me and that things aren't as bad as they seem.

Back to the story! So I chatted to my mom for a while and then handed her over to my sisters. After they were finished chatting, I got a call from my uncle, Vic, who by this stage had gone off to the hospital to see my grandfather. He announced that my grandfather has now picked up an infection of some kind while in the SICU (surgical ICU). It was later confirmed to be a pulmonary infection. As a result, he has to be put back on all the numerous drugs that he was on before, including the morphine. Apparently, things are looking bleak for him acording to one of the doctors.

Anyway, my sisters remained at home, just in case anything happened and they phoned. Eventually, Gemma decided that she wanted to go to the hospital to be with my grandmother, who was stressing big time! So we all went off to the hospital.

Once there, we just kinda stood around for a while while the doctors ran around a lot. Eventually one of them emerged and told us all of the above. So, we decided to go have some tea and coffee seeing as the visiting hours were not yet upon us. I had rooibos (as always) and the others all had cappuchino's. I don't drink coffee or tea. The caffine is EVIL! I don't believe that it is very healthy so I steer clear of it. My sisters ordered a slice of cake. This cake was amazing! It was choclate mint cake and has to have been one of the most enormous slices of cake I have ever seen in my life! I got to eat the large chunk of mint flavoured chocolate on the top of the cake. It was good!

Shortly there after, we left. My gran and uncle went in to see my grandfather and we all then left to go home. Lucia came home with me while Gemma rode home with Vic and my gran. I ended up having a conversation with Lucia about getting drunk and was amazed to find out that my little sister has gotten drunk many times! I was rather shocked! I guess that that is just the big brother in me. I found out that she has gotten drunk more often in the past two years than I have in my entire life! Once the conversation got underway, I relaxed a bit about it but it was kind of odd having a discussion about getting trashed and how many times you've hurled as a result...


Today I got to Wits early as always. I got to work on my essay outline immediately as I arrived. I worked on that all morning and did some marking for the 1st years. I also went and got some posters printed that I had designed over the weekend for the SRC. And I also did the stats tut with Laura and Vanessa today for this week! And there was no confusion about dud tuts this time. Somewhat disappointing but at the same time, I can totally live without the excitement!

During lunch today I went to the seminar that was being presented. We are supposed to go to one every Monday at lunchtime but because Neville always had our animal behaviour lectures before lunch, we 'unfortunately' always went into the first 5 min of the seminars. Obviously, we wouldn't want to be rude and barge in, so we havn't been since the beginning of the block. Almost two months today...rats. My reputation for avoiding them is tarnished! How will I ever recover from such a blow...?

In case you hadn't picked up on this...the seminars suck.

After the seminars, I went to print out more of my posters and put some up around campus. It was the first time that I have walked around campus in ages! It was really odd. I'd actually kind of forgotten parts of campus existed! I realise how silly that sounds but in a way it is true...I spend so much time in my office that I never go out anymore. Sad, I know...

So I spent the remainder of my day in the office watching animations from REALLY arb and funny! Also a brilliant way to waste time!

I came home at around 7:30pm and just had dinner, washed up and chilled. Spoke to my mom again today. She sounds rather thrown by the situation with my gandfather...I hope she is okay.

Well adios me amigos. Buena fuerte con la vita!


Friday, May 05, 2006

Sorry about that

I'm wrting this all on Sunday because I was just too tired to type on Friday and Saturday was also pretty hectic. Here is the blow-by-blow account of my action packed weekend!

Today I came in to Wits early and got all my internetting done as soon as possible in order to start working on my essay. Then I discovered that my laptop hates me! I started to open all the necessary programs to start on my essay and to my horror, discovered that I can no longer use MS Word! I have not yet registered my Word online due to the fact that the Wits network firewall or something will not permit me to! I can't do it at home as my internet connection at home is a bitch to set up on my laptop. Woe is me!

I figured I needed to rectify the problem and thus went on a quest to find our departmental IT guy and ask him to help me. He is really brilliant with all the computer nonsense that we seem to generate and throw at him. That is, he is brilliant until he...isn't there.

He was out somewhere in my time of need! Oh the betrayal! There I was, having a fit because all hope of making headway on my essay was dashed on the jagged shoreline of technology and Herman, the IT guy, was off cavorting around somewhere!

But, apparently, he would have been back by 11:30. So I just went up to the honours room to do some reading and ended up surfing the net. It really is a curse having free internet access where you are supposed to be working...I'm sure many of you can sympathise.

I then had an Animal Behaviour lecture with our new lecturer, Martin Whiting. He has been off on sabatical (sp?) for the last year and had just returned from Kenya. It is rather funny because we found a song about Kenya at:
This then became Martin's unofficial theme song. Any time that we had anything to do with Martin or talked about him, someone breaks out in song.

I had to leave the animal behaviour lecture early to go to a pre-lab tut for my first years who I had to TA that afternoon. After that I TA'ed until 16:30, after which I checked my e-mail and started to blog but gave up.


So, today I got up and took my sisters to their extra science lesson, for which they were late as usual. I then found out from them that I was the only available person that could go and fetch them. This really screwed up my plans because I had to be at Helen's 21st birthday party at 12:00 and their lesson would only end at 11:00. So I drove like a maniac and went from their lesson way in the south, to eastgate to buy her present, to the south again to fetch them and then drop them off at home, and then back to eastgate to fetch a friend, Anita, who I was giving a lift to.

So I pulled this all off in record time and drove off with Anita and the directions that I had downloaded off the internut on how to get to the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, where the party was happening. At this stage in my blog, I would like to just let the general public know that the Mweb directions service SUCKS!!!

I ended up at the reserve, just that it was on the total opposite side to where the entrance is! Anita seemed to find it all very amusing, and I must admit that it was rather fun getting lost. And, we did eventually find our way to the entrance.

The whole reason why we had to get directions off the web was because Helen's inclosed directions with the invitations were from once you were half-way there. So once we got to the place we were really relieved to have made it! Then, we headed in and at the gate were to give our names and say that we were here for the party. We did this and were then handed a slip of paper. On the paper were directions to the picnic spot where the party was happening. They read 'Follow the red brick road until you see the sign to Lion's Bridge. Cross the bridge and you'll be there!'

Problem was, as we left the entrance, the red brick road split into two...

By sheer chance, we took the correct path and found the place. Once we arrived, I went to chat to Eebee about the essay and see how he was doing. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he was also battleing to pull it all together! Not that I should revel in his misfortune, but at least I knew I wasn't the only one. So we reluctantly decided to interupt Neville's leave and SMS him requesting an extension. To our surprise, he granted us another week!

The rest of the day was great. I was so much more relaxed knowing that I had enough time!

That's all for now. I'll try blog again tomorrow.


Another unproductive day

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What a waste of a day!

Howdy all.

Today started off really oddly! I got up to take my sisters off to school and to my amazement, discovered that Joburg was doused in a blanket of fog! We never get fog! We don't really get much in the way of exciting precipitation. We get hail which is probably the most interesting precipitation we get, but otherwise it is all rain, frost and dew. Never fog!

Anyway, the traffic was an absolute bitch today as a result! It never ceases to amaze me how people become uncontrollably incompetent behind the wheel the second there is a notable weather phenomenon! There were accidents on practically every highway. It is actually rather scary when you think about it! There are all these lunatics driving around and you are there too, mild-mannered and sitting in your car, surrounded by looneys!

After dropping my sisters off at school I decided to return home and catch half an hours sleep before heading off to Wits. Unfortunately, as with most things in my life, it didn't go according to plan. I overslept by two hours! I was really tired this morning when I got up to take them off to school so that's why I returned to bed.

So I got to Wits really late today. I immediately started to do the marking for my first years. Their prac is tomorrow afternoon and I'd rather have their stuff all marked for them by that time. However, I did a bit of marking but then I was interrupted by a million and one people coming in to chat to me. Once they had all left I got back to my marking.

I'm not exagerating when I say this but literally, the second my pen returned to the page, my cousin, Duncan, arrived to visit! It was really great to see him again and I wasn't all that into my marking anyway. So, we chatted and he had some hot chocolate. By the time he left, it was already lunchtime! So I went online to try and check my mail. Half-way through doing this, Laura arrived to have a sub-comm meeting in the honours room.

Now, if you will remember, a while back I quit the sub-comm. However, due to the fact that I failed to send a letter of resignation, I am still on the sub-comm. So I was forced to attend the meeting and in the process was persuaded to remain on the sub-comm. Curse my inability to say no!

So, after the meeting, I had half an hour to kill before another meeting. This time with the head of the Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences (APES) school, Kevin Balkwill, who I needed to help me identify some plants that I had collected over the weekend as potential baboon food sources. Kevin was 15 min late and as a result I had to cancel the meeting as I had to go and fetch my sisters from school to take them shopping for art supplies.

At this point I would like to point out that I realise the ridiculousness of the name of the school that I work in. A friend pointed out though that the alternative to APES would have been PEAS (Plant, Environment and Animal Sciences) so it would have turned out silly either way...

So, I then left Wits, taking Vanessa home at the same time. I then got home, collected the siblings and went shopping. I found a present for Helen, who is having her 21st birthday party on Saturday. She was a mission to shop for and wasn't at all cooperative when it came to finding out what she wanted for her birthday...

So this evening was the first in a long time that I was actually home for the preparation of dinner. After that was all done and subsequently eaten, I went to try do more marking. Three of my students have just not handed in the work and so I can't mark them. However, out of the remaining twelve that have handed in, only 4 have passed. I feel really bad for having to fail them but they just havn't done the required work...

So now I am on the internut, downloading some script writing software and doing the blog. I should go to bed now and will do so in due course. Adios me amigos. Donde estas el pero?

This is a real sign that I have seen with my own eyes! I didn't take the photo but (excuse the pun) I was present for the taking of the photo!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Another rather hurried blog entry

I started to do this entry yesterday evening but it just got so late that I decided to leave and head home instead. This is a photo of a sunset that I watched while on my fieldwork this weekend.

The fieldwork went much better than I expected it to! I actually got to see some baboons for a change and came away with 50min worth of data! This really isn't much but it is more than what I had to begin with.

So anyway, the fieldwork went relatively well. We were in that house, bored out of our minds! You can't believe just how crappy this place is! It is unbelieveable! And this place that we stay in is so dirty that none of us have plucked up the courage to actually clean...

The shower has to be the crowning feature of this bizzare place. It is in a separate room from the bath and toilet and this room is approximately 1.5m x 3m on the floor. The shower occupies about half of the room. The other half is so small that in order to get into the room one is forced to open the door, climb into the shower, close the door and only then can you access the non-shower part. It is a real pain when you have to leave after your shower! Just once you have dried yourself and are all dressed and everything, you have to climb into the now wet shower, thus wetting your feet and the lower part of your clothes should you be wearing long pants, in order to leave the room! For crying in a freaking bucket! What kind of idiot designed this place!!!

The second aspect of the shower that has brought much constenation to my existence is the fact that this particular example packs a double whammy. It both has no water pressure and takes forever to produce water of any decent temperature, that is unless you happen to be in the mood for some chryogenic self-preservation. The shower manages to wet an area that is about the size of a paper plate on the floor with frigid liquid. This requires that in order to wet any significant amount of your bodies surface, you practically have to press your full body up against the wall of the shower, directly underneath the shower head. Not fun at all. Also, the showerhead is so loose that if you make any attempt to change the direction of the spray, the head will just fall back into the straight-down position. Once again...not fun.

Anyway, back to the rest of the week. Yesterday I went to Wits after dropping off my sisters at school and got to work on doing some reference searching on the internet. I got a few refs, not much and ended up getting really distracted. I'm not too sure what exactly I did all day but somehow I managed to get very little work done in a lot of time.

I do remember that I worked on this weeks stats assignment with Helen. It was rather funny, because the two of us were tired and thus giggled our way through most of it. We also came up with a brilliant plan for freaking Laura out. Every week she reminds us that she thinks that all the people in our stats group, appart from herself, are incompetant. Thus, she insists on overseeing all that we do. This includes proof-reading the assignments before we submit them for marking. So, to get her back, Helen and I did two assignments: one was the legitimate assignment that we handed in, and the other was a dud one that was full of jokes and was outright ridiculous!

So we left it on her desk with a small note saying that she must read it and then take it to hand it in. While we waited for her to arrive and read the thing we watched the movie 'White Chicks'. It is actually really funny! But it's the kind of funny that you don't really want to admit to having enjoyed, should anyone ask. Watch it, you'll see what I mean.

Eventually Laura came in and found it. She got rather annoyed at us because of the hand-it-in part but we acted as if it was water off a ducks back. So she started to read it and immediately had a question for us about the content of one of the questions. It wasn't about one of the silly bits that we had added in. So we explained, she agreed with what we had written and then continued to read on. It was shortly after this that she hit the first bit. I had written something along the lines of " this method was not working, we figured that it wasn't such a smashing idea after all, and began to ponder alternatives. These didn't work, so we returned to pondering."

At this stage she lost it completely! She was pacing up and down yelling things like, "Who writes this stuff! We can't hand this in!" She was fuming! It was so classic! It was really hard not to burst out laughing! I told her to just calm down and read the whole thing first and then we could discuss any changes she wanted to do. So eventually, and might I add, very reluctantly, she turned over the page. It was at this stage that she realised what was really going on.

At the top of the page was a graph of the failed data analysis with the following caption:

Fig. 2: Oh Shit...

She just laughed and laughed when she realised. It was great! She thought that seeing as how it had worked so well, she was going to do it to Vanessa too. Vanessa hadn't come in to Wits at all on Tuesday and so she only got it this morning.

So, I arrived at Wits today and headed off to TA a lab that I thought I had to TA but it turned out I didn't. On my way there I got a call from 'Ness saying that she would not be able to TA with me as she was TA'ing another course in place of someone who was absent. I told her not to worry and that I'd explain to the lecturer. Then, she gave me the fright of my life.

"I've just handed in the stats assignment, so don't worry. It's all sorted"

I was speechless...

Eventually, I managed so say something along the lines of "WHAT?!" She explained that she had just handed it in as she hadn't had time to read over and check it.

She didn't know that it was the dud assignment! It was at this stage that I told her to not to worry and then sprinted off to try and get to the lecturer's pigeon-hole before she could! I ran into Helen along the way who had also just found out and the two of us rocketed across campus to try and save our asses.

Luckily the lecturer hadn't collected them yet and we managed to convince the secretary that it was all a mix up and that the assignment that we were removing was one from the previous week that had been accidentally handed in. Lucky for us, she bought it.

So, it has been a rather exciting past few days. I managed to have a mini-drama with my sister and was forced to play parent (as per usual). I actually did the whole stern 'we-need-to-have-a-discussion-about-your-behaviour' thing! I scared even myself with that!

Anyway, it is quater to 11 and I have to get up early tomorrow, so I'm signing off. My grandfather is doing much better by the way. He is consious, nearly off dialysis and the respirator and is as coherant as he has been in the past.

Remeber that sometimes you have to wade through the mud, to get to the grass on the other side...