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My MLS Degree: An Experiment in Abnormal Psychology Part Three

The saga continues.  Click here for Part One and Part Two.

It keeps going . . . and going . . . like this post!

It keeps going . . . and going . . . like this post!

Second Spring Semester (Jan 2009 – May 2009)  Adventures in Psychosis

My courses are “Public Libraries”, taught by the great Dr. G., and “Children’s Literature” by Dr. V.  I soon start hearing the horror that is the teacher of Library Management – the course I have put off until later.

His name is Dr. S.  Apparently this guy expects unbelievable things like subject / verb agreement and calls people on their idiotic comments.  Gee, what a jerk.

 While most of the others are suffering, I’m reading kid books and writing on another blog.  My boss gives me the evil eye when she sees me check out lots of children’s literature.  My decision to take Kiddie Lit has had the unforeseen benefit of freaking her out.  She is certain I’m after her job now!

I especially like this piece of children's lit.  You know, where the kids kill each other.

I especially like this piece of children’s lit. You know, where the kids kill each other.

I forget most of Public Libraries, except that it was supposedly about how to work in a public library, provided said library was on Saturn.  I did find out that some of the cohort (like my boss) think staff are as expendable as office supplies.  I’m deeply touched.

We are told to create a Disaster Plan.  My library naturally does not have one.  They don’t even have a shovel to remove snow from the sidewalks.  I ask my boss in the cohort what our procedures are in case of disaster, and she tells me to stop trying to copy off of her.  No, really, I’m serious.

My husband had to bring the shovel.

My husband had to bring the shovel.

I’m pretty sure this is the semester where I seriously tick a cohort off with my opinions concerning filtering public access computers.  Unfortunately, I forget that said person has been my roommate at TLA.  Whoops.

I get another roommate who has thus far been a champion in class because she has absolutely no shame or fear when it comes to demanding answers from professors on the message boards.  Her name is Kathy.

Starting to see why they need the booze . . .

Starting to see why they need the booze . . .

Second TLA!  New Verse, Worse Than the First!

Here we go with the TLA Prep Merry-Go-Round . . . again.  Dr. G and her grad assistant Summer insist that we tell them how we plan to travel to TLA and how long we’re staying and when we’re coming and going, etc.  We ask what time we have to be there, what time the program starts and ends, etc.  Summer has to check with Dr. G on that, who in turn has to ask the dean.

We are told again that they need those travel plans right away.  Blindly, we make plane reservations.  I decide to fly in Monday night, since they say that probably we will need to be there on Monday night.

I am informed that there are no rooms on Monday night.  I change my reservations and charge them the difference.

I am told that now there are rooms on Monday night.

Off we go into the . . . God I don't want to know . . .

Off we go into the . . . God I don’t want to know . . .

I decide to book a shuttle to and from the airport this time.  While waiting for my shuttle, I start talking to a woman who turns out to be Dr. Mc.  I barely keep from calling her my pet name for her by accident.

At the hotel, I find out that they have charged me for Monday night.  They start trying to fix it.  I take my stuff up to my room.  Kathy decides that the room is not spiffy enough and gripes until they let us move to another floor.

I find out that Kathy likes my boss.  Her approval rating is shooting down rapidly.

 Another cohort is charged for the entire floor’s rooms – in one night.  The hotel graciously gives her a free breakfast to say “sorry” for taking over 1,000 dollars out of her account.

Free food!  And it only cost a heart attack!

Free food! And it only cost a heart attack!

We have a meeting with Dr. J., Dr. G, and Dr. S.  They’ve decided in their ultimate wisdom that Dr. S. (who doesn’t disguise the fact that he hates us all) would make a great motivational speaker.  After his speech, most of us realize that we aren’t that great.  In fact, we really suck.

The dean tells us not to worry about registration.  There will be plenty of time to register for our classes.

The next day every class on my degree plan – except Library Management, of course, is filled in the first five minutes after registration opens.

I decide not to grab every single book this time, even if it is free.  I’m learning.

Again, I don’t go to very many sessions.  I can’t seem to negotiate my way around the halls fast enough.  One session on Story Times looks promising until the women start clucking and mooing to the ABCs.  A cohort and I run for our lives.

Cluck, cluck, mooo, moooo!

Cluck, cluck, mooo, moooo!

I am talked into trying the Fun Run/Walk.  In the rain.  And nearly die.  But I get a T-shirt and a banana!

Somehow, this TLA seems to last twice as long as the first one.  When I get home, it’s back to work!  Children’s Literature teaches me one important lesson.  There are stupid people all over this university, not just in my cohort program.

I dare complain to Dr. G because I am waitlisted for most of my classes.  She is horrified and tattles on me to the dean who berates me for not being happy with my lot.  For that much trouble, I should have used a few four letter words in my email.

I'm in hellllll!

I’m in hellllll!

Second Summer Session: Summer of Hell Part Two

I get a warning email that they are going to drop our schedules for nonpayment.  Dr. G.  assures us that won’t happen.

The university drops the schedules of every single student.  As it turns out, the university’s incompetence works for me, as I’m able to re-register and get in first for my chosen classes.  Haha, suckers!

This is the first official semester separate from the cohort.  Many of the cohort have panic attacks and start sucking their thumbs.

I’m enrolled in “Multicultural Children’s Literature” and “Youth Programs”.  I take more kid books out of the library.  My boss asks why I don’t help with the programs if I like kiddie lit so much.  I tell her she has never asked me.   She huffs and says I need to show initiative and tell her I want to do storytimes like my coworkers did.

This is totally mulitcultural.   They're gay, and they're penguins!

This is totally mulitcultural. They’re gay, and they’re penguins!

I ask my coworkers who work with storytime if they volunteered for the job.  They look at me like I’ve lost my senses entirely.

Multicultural Children’s Literature is all about respecting other cultures.  By staying the heck away from their literature, you dumb whiteys!

I’m shocked to discover that no library in my area has any books about gay people needed for this course (because gay people are now a race?).  I order some through ILL through our ultra-conservative ILL person.  I have to get my jollies where I can.

My boss decides to take a computer course despite knowing nothing about computers.  She’s mad that I was smart enough to take the easy kiddie lit classes instead.  She has everyone in the library take a quiz on computer literacy for fun.  She and several others pat themselves on the back for getting around 70 percent.  I score 100.

My Dad points out that I just don’t want to live, do I?

Off with her head!

Off with her head!

My “easy” kiddie lit class asks that we film ourselves reading and load said video up to YouTube.  I decide to read to my kids.  The five year old helps out by making sound effects.  The book is The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle.  After this project, I hate The Very Quiet Cricket.  I figure I might as well have read War and Peace instead, since that’s about how long it takes for the video to actually load.

 While my courses are not as demanding, my job becomes more so as my boss gets more unglued with each passing day.  I get so used to being in trouble that I start watching how her veins pop out while she berates me for breathing.  I realize I’m staying in the job partly just to tick her off.

To be continued . . .

Headline: Woman Obsessed with Virtual Farm Lets Virtual Family Starve

We will eat your soul!

We will eat your soul!

First off, I want you to know I’m not playing Farmville.  I am not that big of a loser.  It’s called Hay Day, and really, I can quit anytime I want to – I just haven’t wanted to yet.  Sadly, this has meant bad things for my little virtual family on a different game I told you about earlier.  I haven’t even given them a good slap in ages.  I’m pretty sure they’ve run out of food by now. (Click to enlarge pics I took from Google Images, mostly.)

And to think I was so good to them before . . .

And to think I was so good to them before . . .

But I can’t worry about that because I have a freaked out farm here.  It’s on my Nook, so it’s even worse than only being on Facebook or a game relegated to home.  On the plus side, it seems my workplace, built in 1974, is unable to get a decent signal with the Nook.  It can get a signal for laptops and my phone, but not this one simple game on my portable device.  Not that this is a problem.  I’m perfectly okay with it.

Oh okay Mr. Scarecrow arghhhhhhh!

Oh okay Wicker Man arghhhhhhh!

But what about my crops?  I mean, I’ve got wheat and corn and carrots (all cut with a scythe interestingly enough) and they’re just sitting there waiting.  Also, the cows are full of milk (they sit there like overfilled Macy’s Day Parade floats, ready to burst) and the chickens are sitting on giant eggs which is bound to be uncomfortable.  Worst of all – the pigs!  You harvest bacon from the pigs, but you don’t kill them.  Nope.  Once they’re ready (they will be lying on their bloated stomachs in misery) you slide them through this tube that gives them liposuction resulting in bacon.  Then you feed them and it starts all over again.  I don’t think I’d want to eat this bacon.

Pig liposuction comin' up.

Pig liposuction comin’ up.

Stuff occurs in real time in this game, but the time it takes varies and makes no logical sense.  You can get an egg from a chicken every few minutes, and milk from the cow every couple hours, but it takes like five hours to make corn bread and an entire day to make bacon and eggs.  I’m not the best cook, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t take that long to make these things in real life.  WTF.

Pretty sure it takes a year to make the pie.  Don't ask me about the saw.

Bet it takes a year to make the pie. Don’t ask me about the saw.

You get money for selling stuff in this game.  You can sell to pretend people, or apparently real people some of whom have names spelled in Chinese characters.  One person I accidentally friended is named Hand.  I’m not sure how to unfriend this person now.  I just don’t think you can have a friendship based on a love of pretend produce.  What’s interesting is visiting the pretend farms of these people.  Maybe I should say pretend metropolises.  Holy crap!  These guys have acres and acres of crops, machines, animals, goat statues (really), and more.  I’m not sure whether to be impressed or really, really scared.

Does this person do anything else?  Someone should check on him.

Does this person do anything else? Someone should check on him.

It takes a long time to get anywhere on this game, but Facebook and Google Play in their all-knowing wisdom have an answer!  You can pay real money for pretend diamonds to buy pretend products for your pretend farm in this free game.  It’s genius!  Now I’m way too cheap to ever, ever pay a dime for something that is supposed to be free, so I’m not too far gone yet.  But it’s still sneaky as heck, isn’t it?  And people pay for it or they wouldn’t keep advertising.  Far out.   Maybe I should just beg one of those other players.

Orrrr maybe not.  Look at those creepy profile pics!

Orrrr maybe not. Look at those creepy profile pics!

So my virtual family is dying and wondering where I’ve gone, but at least I can say I haven’t ignored my real family.  The kids are playing right along with me and I’m sure my husband is back there somewhere watching people dig stuff out of various garages or whatever on TV.  And the kids, unlike my pretend animals, can feed themselves!  So all is well.  Unless you’re a tiny virtual person.  Then I’m sorry.


Crickets . . .

I hate crickets.   That’s right, I said it.  I hate ’em.  Even you, Jiminy, you crank.

You know you can't stomp me, Alice, look it's your conscience chirrrrrping!

You know you can’t stomp me, Alice, look it’s your conscience chirrrrrping!

In some countries, these little bits of horror are considered lucky.  I can’t imagine why.  Is it lucky because hey, now you know you have excellent hearing what with their constant freaking chirping?  You know, like chirp, chirp, chirp HERE I AMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!  There is actually a children’s book called The Very Quiet Cricket.  That book is a lie.  I have never known a a cricket to be quiet except when I’m about to corner the creepy thing and he shuts up, knowing I’m on to him.  At the end of the book the cricket finds his voice (spoiler alert) and there is this cute chirping noise and slam, slam, slam goes the book!

How YOU doin'?

How YOU doin’?

Why the AliceRage at these innocent little insects?  Well, we’ve recently had a cricket invasion.  One cricket found his way in and then shouted out to all his cricket frat buddies “Heyyyyy, guys, come on in!  There’s chicks here, I just know it!”  And so they came.  And they hid in their little holes, each one singing out a song of romance.  If I could speak cricket, I’m sure it would sound something like this.

"Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my number, so call me maybe?!!!"

“Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe?!!!”

It’s just as annoying in chirps as it is in words, I’m here to tell you.  None of them seems to get the idea that there ARE NO FEMALE CRICKETS HERE.  Really, keep rubbin’ them wings together (My husband informed me they rub their wings, not their legs, like I give a crap.  I’m going to break their legs if I find them.)

I’m not actually a violent person.  Well, not against living things, anyway, virtual peeps don’t count.  They don’t.  Boppo, I’m still coming for you.  Anyway, I will genuinely feel bad if I squash out the tiny life of a spider.  Not as bad as I would feel if he crawled up my leg, but bad.  Yet it’s different with these crickets.  These crickets employ a torture method much like Chinese water torture, only with chirps. Chirp . . . chirp . . . chirp . . . chirp . . . chirpchirpchirpchirpchirpchirpchirpchirpchiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp! Until you finally go insane.  You’re ready to either kill the thing or jam one of those ear cleaners up your ear canal as seen on TV.

If I shove this in far enough, the chirp will disappear - OW!

If I shove this in far enough, the chirp will disappear – OW!

We’ve managed to catch a few.  Instead of giving them burials at sea (toilet) as any normal person would do, my husband takes them outside, like he’s some sort of Cricket Whisperer or something.  Fly, be free cricket!  Free to turn right around and come back into my house!  I swear they do.  There can’t be this many crickets alive in the known world.

My husband thought it’d be a cute idea to tell Thing Two to create “cricket traps” before he left today.  Ha ha, yes, thank you.  So we have weird contraptions all over the house, baited mostly with marshmallows held over a bucket of water.  One of them, though, was a Halloween bucket containing a couple of potato chips set down in a laundry basket with a rope leading from it.  And – it worked.  It actually worked.  She then, just like dad, took it outside and dumped it.

Cricket bait.

Cricket bait.

So why don’t I search and find them and stomp them?  Because as much as I hate chirping, I’m scared of bugs.  I know, it’s stupid, but nothing should have more than two legs, I’m telling you.  It’s just wrong.  So I guess till then I learn to live with the crickets.  Kind of like my comments section on certain days.

crickets .  . .

Fuuuuuck: Or How I Got to Work This Morning

Fuck off, Sunshine

Fuck off, Sunshine

Yeah, so I was gonna try to be all positive this morning, right?  What the hell was I thinking?  Positive?  It’s only Tuesday.  The kids started back to school yesterday, which means “back to school traffic from Hades!”  Also means, wake up the children out of zombie states without falling into one yourself.  Also, that the oldest kid is hacking like a dying moose so probably needs allergy testing that will cost half a fortune and the other kid smiles with teeth out of place that will probably cost the other half of a fortune in braces and OMG THE JOY NEVER ENDS.

This is before I actually started my car, of course.  We make it okay to the elementary school.  I don’t see any of those cars with the flipping families on the back, which means I do not have to envision slicing their tires to ribbons while they take twenty minutes to wish their half dozen kids goodbye at the door, because they had to walk them to the door.  That way they left their car blocking yours.  But no, that didn’t happen, so score!  One kid dropped off.  Now all I have to do is get to the high school, which is now the junior high because they demoted my high school and drop off my newly minted junior high student.  She looks thrilled.  The humidity is awful, so she also has her little white girl afro goin’ on.  I don’t tell her this.

We get to the high school and I have this brilliant idea.  I will drop her off at the side of the school, so she won’t have to cross a street AND a parking lot full of equally pissed off parents (why can’t she drive already I mean GAWD isn’t 13 old enough nevermind then I’d worry about her driving let’s up the age to at least 21).  So I’m like technically on the wrong side of the road, but it’s just a second to drop her off on the curb but FUCK here comes a line of cars.  One after another after another after another and all of them giving me FUCK YOU looks because I’m on the wrong side of the road and I’m like I KNOW but you won’t let me out you bastards!  I mean, let’s be reasonable here.  Jeeez.

So I finally get out and decide to drive into the parking lot and poor Thing One is still hacking and her fro is expanding and I feel so bad for her so I’m hugging her and she’s like whatevs cause mostly she’s just so tired because school and I finally let her go and realize there is a car behind me going wtf lady quit blocking my way and GO what is wrong with you?  Heh, uh, sorry.  So I drive out of the parking lot and into the sun.  Not literally into it, but it feels like it cause I am now driving blind.  Yay!  Fuck you, sun.

I am not paying much attention because Sun and Pissed and I end up where?  The elementary school where I just dropped off Thing Two which is now packed with insane parents.  FUCK I’m an idiot.  So I wait again through traffic and take multiple turns in order to find a light cause no way am I taking my chances getting across and did I mention I live in a supposedly small town?  But there is a university, where I am now trying to go sense I’m supposed to work there, and there are people trying to get out of this town in both directions to go work at other towns that are more exciting.  So I am stuck in the middle.  Every morning.

Oh, yeah, and I mentioned this in a post way back in whenever that our parking situation sucks because they decided to make it “open parking” which is like “open season” only with cars instead of guns, although this is Texas so I’m not ruling that out.  And so I drive around and around looking for a spot.  Fun times I tell you.  Fuuuuuuck.  I am so tempted to park in the reserved parking of the uppity ups.  If only I knew I was getting laid off that day.  Oh, well, I find a spot a mile away and trudge off to work where I get there right on the dot.  I woke up at 6 AM and it is now 8 AM and work hasn’t started and I want to murder someone.

Just another typical day.  Good morning, Alice!