Archive for May, 1995

Lab Results

11 May 1995 at 9:20 pm
by Jonah

I awoke this morning to an envelope hitting my face. Mom’s voice punctuated my rather realistic dream by saying, “It’s afternoon now, so you can get up.”

My eyes fluttered uncontrollably as I made the transition from sleep to wakefulness, the scene before me alternating between an empty pool surrounded by shady oaks and puzzled hospital workers to my mom’s form standing beside my bed (or what I could see of her from behind the envelope covering half my face). I grasped frantically at the paper resting on my head and struggled to sit up, as if that action would aid my emergence from slumber. I stared at the object clenched clumsily in my fist. It was one of those envelopes that you have to fold and tear along the edge to open. The return address read “University of Mobile.” I knew immediately what was inside. This envelope held my last semester’s grades.

My hands shook, either out of anticipation or uncoordination as I creased the edge of the paperalong the dotted line, first one way, then the other. Then my fingers came together over one corner, pulling a strip of paper off. It took me several tries to free the sheet guarded by the envelope, but I finally managed to get a hold of it and pull it out a bit. I paused as I read the course titles that had become so familiar to me over the last few months. Pulling it out a little further, I read how many hours each had credit, and something meaningless about honor points. Then came the important part. I pulled the paper the rest of the way out to find one, two,three, four, five…six A’s, all in a row. I looked back at the course titles. Yes, even chemistry had an A after it.

I looked up at Mom who had stopped her impatient pacing and was now sitting at the foot of my bed, searching my face for a tale-telling reaction. Instead of giving her one, I handed her the envelope with the grade sheet inside, but she refused to look at it. “Are you happy?” she inquired. I looked her in the eye, but then unable to lock my face, I pulled the my sheetover my head and grinned uncontrollably underneath.

“All A’s,” I heard her smile. I emerged out from under the covers. “I’m proud of you,” she said, and I smiled openly.

Chemistry was a battle I had almost given up. But I stuck through it and worked very hard. And all I have to show for it is a bit of carbon on paper, another A, lost among the rest.

Stupid Fountain

4 May 1995 at 10:00 pm
by Jonah

I made my way casually to the fountain today (still empty as Christ’s tomb),
and looked around. The thing where they had to replace the bricks looked
promising, but when I got closer, I noticed that it was clamped down and
screwed in. I didn’t want to fool with anything that required hardware, so I
moseyed on over to the place where they are constantly digging up and peered
at the lids protruding from the ground. After scouring the area for
maintenance workers, I stooped down and lifted the one marked “Irrigation
Valve” up. Inside, ants scurried around and something that looked like it
required a lug wrench poked out from the bottom. It had a couple of things
that looked like electrical wires emanating from it, however, so I’m not
really sure what it is for. Everything was covered in mud, which made
identification difficult. The other lid was marked “WATER METER” or
something, and all I could see inside was blackness. I gave up.

The Socialist Award

3 May 1995 at 9:44 pm
by Jonah

Ah, yes, the socialist award. Last Thursday my History and Politics of
Modern Russia class had a end of course party. People brought snacks, our
instructor (who is a lady from Russia) made tea, and we watched Russian
singing and dancing on a video while munching on Russian Tea Cakes. Then our
instructor (I never use her real name because I can’t pronounce it, let alone
spell it) reminded us about how when Stalin was bringing about rapid
industrialization, people would be awarded medals and stuff for hard work.
So she said that it was fitting that we recognize the person with the best
attendance (the guy on my right piped up, “That’d be Joanna,”) and the person
with the highest grade on the midterm (a girl over to my left added,
“Joanna.”). “So I think we can agree that Joanna (she pronounces my name as
one syllable. You know, Russians are used to shortages) should get this.”
Our personal minister of propaganda came over and handed me a cheap medal
that said something in Russian and bore the date 1977. I stood up, shook her
hand, and put it on proudly. Then I wore it for the rest of the day. I
asked her what it meant, and she said it was for the best socialist. So…