Wednesday, August 23, 2006

One hour, twenty minutes (1:20)

That's how long it took this morning for me to get to school. Which is odd, because I live right down the road from my school, and could probably have walked there in half that time.

Have you ever had one of those days? It's been one of "those days" for me. Starting with... breakfast, probably. I was so tired last night that I opted to not pack my things for school, but to do it in the morning. So I needed to get up a little bit early to do that, and I had budgeted about an hour of travel time, knowing I'd have to ride 2 different buses. Well... I was running late (freqently am, in mornings.) I tried to sleep in a little extra and probably spent 20 minutes laying in bed wondering why my arm felt like it was falling asleep. (Don't ask...) I found my bag, (which had been in a box since I packed it in May), emptied it of all last semester's work and tried to fill it with a few books I planned on using today. This all takes time, mind you.

Then I thought I'd save time by eating breakfast in the car so I poured a bowl of cereal as I was about to leave only to discover... there was no milk in the fridge. So much for the cereal, so I just put the bowl (with the cereal in it) back in the cabinet, lol! I wanted to hurry... I was sooo pokey this morning.

So I didn't get breakfast this morning because there wasn't much else I could've taken with me--I figured I would just wait for lunch because I had nothing to do after my first class, which was 8:30-9:20.

I think I've mentioned in previous posts my fear of butterflies... well, this morning there was a giant (GIANT!!) moth sitting on my doorstep when I opened the door. (One for the world) Uh oh. Right beside where the door closed, so it would close just over the wing a little bit. Giant moth. I was terrified it would come at me when I opened or close the door. Thank God, it didn't, but oh boy. I did manage to get the door locked (covering my face with one hand, lol) and run down the stairs, without it moving. (One for me.)

Unfortunately, I didn't really make it to my car and out of the complex until about 7:55, already 25 minutes later than I planned. And traffic, of course, despite not taking any particularly high-volume roads... was terrible. I figured, just driving through town it would be fine. So I'm driving along, it's not too bad at first, then I come up to a major intersection on a side street. I could go straight, or turn left. Well, the left-turn line is much much shorter and I know that usually it has a long cycle (for turn) so decide to turn. That was a bad idea... I ended up waiting through 2 or 3 cycles at that light--people just weren't moving! Straight would have gotten me through the intersection much sooner.

But after that, I got stopped at two more intersections that normally are green... hmm... then a t the third, where I needed to turn right, some big slow truck was way ahead of me and getting around that turn took a while but then...

It must have been a train...

But the road was backed up about half a mile from the intersection--I couldn't even see what was going on. But cars were stopped way back (which is why I presume train, this intersection has a railroad crossing that would prevent the flow on this road) for a while, and then only creeped through a few at a time. That's where I think I wasted most of the morning time. Unfortunately, traffic like that just doesn't stop cars, but buses too.

And I finally made it to the park and ride lot (which is probably further from the school than my house, and on the other side--though I'm not allowed to park on or near campus and don't quite live close enough for an easy walk) around 8:30. Right, that's when my class was supposed to start. So here I wait for the bus... take the bus to the main campus... and have to wait about 15 minutes there for another bus to take me to the campus I have class on.


I was patient... I hoped that I could make it to the class only 20-30 minutes late, that would be fine. I've had the professor before, and knew I wouldn't miss much at the beginning. But then waiting... and I did catch the bus and made it to the centennial campus, and my classrom, at 9:16 (I checked my watch.) So, an hour and twenty minutes it took me to get to class this morning... isn't that totally insane?? It took me less than an hour when I lived 30 minutes away from campus, and now I live 5 minutes away! But now they've turned the parking lot close to this campus into a permit-only lot, and really, I'm too cheap to pay for a permit.

I'll be telling transportation that they need a park and ride lot with a bus that goes to Centennial... as it is, all commuting students who don't have parking permits need to take two buses to get to centennial campus--this is really absurd, now, considering how many departments have now moved to Centennial.

{If you don't know, at my school they are building a new fancy 'Centennial Campus' for some of the more prominent curriculum departments, like engineering and textiles... so we have 'state of the art facilities' to boast of, and all. The humanities and social studies classes will then get the dilapidated buildings which had been previously occupied by these departments, as they expand--meaning, as they no longer have 5 people sharing an 8x10 office. So being in engineering, I'm on Centennial for my "major" classes.}

For now, I'm not sure what the best option would be--I can't find a way around the "two-bus" option without a lot of walking. I think tomorrow, since I only have one class in the morning, I will walk about two blocks to a stop for a different route, and get off the bus further down the road near the campus and walk from there to class. It shouldn't be too hot at 8am or 10am, and then I have only one bus to worry about. It's maybe 3 blocks to the school building from where the bus stops, I think. I should check this stuff out, huh? ;-)

Anyway, the class let out at 9:20 so I didn't even bother going in (two for the world), but went to the computer lab to check when the next section met. I thought (and correctly) that the same professor was teaching the same class, a different section, right after the first. He was, and even in the same room! (Which I checked online.) And the class was pretty big... I just snuck in the back and listened to the entirety of the same spiel he gave to the first section (my class) as he gave it to the second. And since he doesn't take attendance, I doubt he'd notice my absence/presence in one or the other. So despite the fact I totally missed my class, I didn't really miss anything. ;-) (Two for me.)

So after class, I decide I have time to run across town to a bookstore for my community college to get my New Testament textbook. But first, I'm really hungry (missed breakfast, remember?) so decide to go home for lunch (short on cash, since tuition has just been due.) But then I remember... oh yeah, no milk, and not many other food options really, so I decide to go to the grocery store first, quick trip, get a few things I need. I didn't pay attention to how long was my travel time back to my car, or how long I spent in the store... but I didn't get home until 12:40. This time I wanted to make sure I got back to the bus stop by 1:30, since my next class was at 2:20. (Still trying the far away park'n'ride.)

Then it was my idea to make macaroni and cheese. I had milk now, so I could do that. So I pull a box down and start to boil the water... when I'm finished, and adding the powdery stuff, I notice this doesn't smell right. So I add more milk to see if maybe it's just the mixture not right ... then I taste it... doesn't taste right... so I check the box's expiration date. APRIL 2004!! (Three for the world.) How did an old box of mac'n'cheese get on my shelf anyway?? Easy, it must've been Alice's, and she left it there when she put my stuff up in the cabinet (she let me have a few shelves, and I just grabbed a box.) Ew. So I threw it away. But remember how I put the cereal in the cabinet? I didn't even have to pour a bowl, just add milk (which I had now) and I ate the cereal for lunch. (Three for me.)

But it's certainly too late to go to the bookstore, so I decide to try after my next class, and I go back to campus, and this time, thankfully, it doesn't take nearly as long but I also left in plenty of time.

So after class I try to go to the bookstore... tried listening to the radio a little bit, and (should know better but) I turned on the talk radio station. I hadn't listened to the local guy in a while, he's on 3-6 and I've been working until 6, so I listen, and he's talking about Muslims! Whaddoyaknow. So I listen and he's talking about all these supposed terror plots on planes and basically (my assessment of) people's irrational fear of flying with Muslims, or people they think are Muslims, because they think Muslims are terrorists. So all while I'm driving I try calling in, he keeps asking how people would feel and I think he wanted a Muslim to call in anyway... but I hate calling on the cell phone cuz each call charges a minute (grr.) But when I finally got home I hooked up the phone and got through on the 2nd or 3rd try. And so I tell the screener, well, I'm a Muslim, so if Bill wants to talk to a Muslim... and yeah. So I get on like 30 seconds before they're big, half hour break for news and all. And I say, Hi Bill, I'm a Muslim, and it sounded like you wanted to hear what a Muslim thought... and yeah he did so he put me on hold for like 10 minutes so I could have plenty of time to talk.

And then I got the next 10 minutes. Which is pretty astonishing for that show, really, most people get a minute or 2 at most. So I got to explain my "perspective" and how I really hate that people want to blow up planes, but that profiling "muslims" or people you think are Muslims is a pretty dumb idea, overall. But he's an idiot and thinks it's a good idea even though it makes Muslims the victims--which he acknowledged. I tried explaining how people are just overly afraid, more than they should be and that's why they are over-reacting. I'm not sure how effective I was, but hopefully someone who was listening will not think of this as just a "political correctness" issue like he was trying to make it, and see that someone's skin color and watch-looking habits does not make him a terrorist. And I tried to dissociate between "Muslim" and "terrorist" (don't we all) but it's not something these guys like to hear, I know. And I was polite this time. :-) (Four for me.)

Oh yeah, and that book... was used... and only $35!! (Five for me!!!) These hardcover books tend to go $60,70,80 used, so that was very nice.

Now what? Well I beat the world today, so far, 5-3, alhamdulillah. I have some reading to do... maybe I'll go over my classes later if I have time, inshaAllah. (Especially NT... that one might be an irritant for me.)

And by the way... the giant moth is still there, sleeping, I guess. I got a good look at it earlier, though, the scales on it's wings are really interesting--looks like parts of leaves. Subhan'allah, if it were on trees I think I could never see it. So why it's choosing a doorstep to sleep on, I dunno--but it was alive this morning, btw, I saw it moving it's little antennae thingies (which is why I was terrified it would fly into my face, as such airborne buggers have been known to do).


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