Tuesday, May 2, 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 "...as 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...