Was I Ever That Clueless?

So, because the school paid for so much of my recent trip to Cuba, they’re forcing me to do slave labor for them.

Basically, everyone with half a brain realizes that freshman orientation is terrible and terrifying, and no one volunteers for it. They have to pay people to get them to come work.

Or lure them in with innocent-sounding contracts that require a certain number of hours of work in exchange for the trip of a lifetime.

If I had known this was what I had signed up for, I would never have signed my name so carelessly at the bottom of the page.

And the smiley face in the “o” would not have happened.

Really, it’s not so bad. I only have to deal with the tiny creatures six times this summer, and it’s only two-three hours each time. I also only have to deal with the nursing students.

My job is to stand in front of them, answer all their random questions, give them sage words of advise for their nursing futures, and silently mock them because most of them will never make it into upper division.

A few of them escape the mocking because they’re smart and nice.

And then there was the child who called me “Ma’am” tonight.

He almost died.


The only thing that stopped me was the thought of the mess that would make. And they had just waxed the floors…

But, seriously. (See, I’m implying that the above comments weren’t serious so you won’t think I’m a psychopath.) (I’m not a psychopath.) (I think.) These children ask some of the most random questions. And I have to take them all seriously!

My first day of doing this, I made the mistake of assuming one of them was joking, but when I laughed, they just kept staring at me, awaiting an answer.

I’ve since learned to contain my laughter, but I will now include a sampling of questions just so you understand:

“Sooooo, do I have to, like, sign up for lunch? Like, is that a class? Or do you just, like, show up and say, ‘I’m here!'”

“I live two hours away. Would you recommend commuting?”

“Were they serious when they said we couldn’t bring our dogs to school?”

“Have you ever gone to jail?”

“Are showers mandatory?”

“What are my chances of getting married in college?”

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

“Who cuts your hair? Are they here in Cookeville?”

“Can you tell me how to get here from my apartment?”
“Where’s your apartment?”
“Well, if you turn down that road over there, turn left, go down that other road with the curve in it, turn right at the stop light (or is it a stop sign?), drive for, like, forever, turn right again, and go to those white apartments, you’re there!”
“And…that’s how you get here.”
“No, like, how would you get here?”
“I walk.”
“Oh, okay. Thanks.”

“Is my mom allowed to come here every day and bring me breakfast?”

“Are we allowed to leave? Ever?”

“Can you help me with my schedule? I can’t find a class to fit around nap time.”

“Do I have to take the classes in this list?”
“Yeah, those are your prerequisites.”
“Well, I mean, what if I just take these classes instead?”
“Do you want to earn your degree?”
“Well, no. Not really. I’d just like to stay in school until I can get married.”
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
“No, I need to find one of those. Do you have any friends?”

“My dad told me, if I stayed in nursing, because I’m a guy, I had a higher chance of getting laid. Would you know anything about that?”

What are the little minions thinking? I don’t know what’s wrong with them. I don’t take mental health until next semester.


The Giant Cockroach (A Story)

I have no clue why I suddenly started thinking of this tonight. I think it might be because I just made friends with a little spider living in the corner of my room (I named her Anna), and spiders make me think of other Gross Things, and cockroaches are at the top of my List of Gross Things, and this story is at the top of my list of Stories Having to do With Cockroaches.

It happened when we lived in Crawford, the only all-women’s dorm on campus. It’s really old and the third floor (the one we,¬†conveniently, lived in) has a cockroach problem.

They had been spraying the other hallways in the building, but they hadn’t gotten ours yet because, for some reason, they thought it would be a good idea to do one hallway at a time and corral all the Gross Creatures in the back hallway on the top floor (where Mary and I lived).

Now, Mary and I kept our room really clean, so we didn’t get any of The Cockroaches. We assumed we had escaped. We knew they were around us. We had grown accustomed to the random screams and crashes that usually accompanied the discovery of one (or a hoard) of them.

But, then, one night, I was laying (lying? I don’t know) in bed, and I looked up at one of the flags hanging on my wall. I think it was the Scottish War Flag. I remember being in the middle of a daydream about leading an army of Celtic warriors into battle with that flag streaming behind us.

And I saw it.

A corner of the flag was folded over, and it was sitting in the fold. Just sitting there. Doing whatever They do. Mostly it was being disgusting.

I leaped off the bed and ran over to Mary’s side of the room. Because, of course, I was safe over there.

She, reading something, looked up distractedly and said, “Stop standing on my bed and babbling. You’re on my bear’s face.”

I, of course, became¬†incensed. Something was desperately wrong, and she was only concerned about her bear’s face.

Finally, I was able to stop babbling and choke out a few words (mostly pointing and grunting) about The Cockroach, and she scoffed at me.

She walked over to my side of the room and leaned over to get a good look at it.

Before I knew it, she had leaped up on the bed with me and tried to climb up me. Apparently, she would be safe if she was sitting on my head.

“Agharumf! Huge!” She choked out.

“Yes,” I calmly (at this point) replied. Or, I said that as best as I could with her choking me. “It’s at least three inches long.” (This is not an exaggeration. It was the biggest Roach I have seen in my entire life.)

So, we tried to calm down and sat down on her bed to come up with a War Plan. After a lot of very loud discussion (yelling at each other abut being a giant sissy baby), it was decided that I would smash it with my shoe. (Mary’s shoe was closer, but she refused to let it get sullied with the internal organs of the offending King of the Cockroaches.)

Cautiously, I approached the wall behind my bed, holding my shoe out like a sword before me.

It took a good fifteen minutes and a lot of “sissy baby’s” back and forth to cross that ten feet of floor.

Once I reached my bed and ensured The Offensive Insect was still there, I smashed the shoe against it.

And it didn’t squish.

Instead, it went running across the ceiling and took residence on the side of my light, where I couldn’t reach it.

Of course, as soon as it started moving, I dropped the shoe and darted back across the room. Mary was smashed in the corner as far as she could go, screaming. It was not our proudest moment.

After finally collecting ourselves and a lot of name calling (again), it was decided that I (again) would use my shoe (again) to knock it down and then squish it really hard. And, if that didn’t work, we were going to call someone (we weren’t sure who) and make them come kill it.

We also considered moving all of our stuff out of the dorm very quickly and burning the whole thing down, but that idea was thrown away quickly. It was raining and we were afraid some of our stuff would get ruined. Also, we lived on the third floor. That was a really long way to walk, and we are inherently lazy creatures.

So, shaking in my favorite sweatpants (I wasn’t wearing any shoes to shake in), I approached The Great Disgusting One (which was much closer than before), and stood below it, just knowing that, when I smacked it down, it was going to fall on my face.

With great trepidation and loads of encouragement (not!) from Mary, I knocked it down (finally). As it started falling, I jumped backward about 11 feet (no joke), and, I’m very happy to say, it didn’t get in my face. It landed on the floor and, with great pleasure, I flattened it with the shoe in my hand.

And it didn’t squish.

It just kind of slid out from under the shoe. I was disturbed, but determined. It was war, and I was going to win. There was no way this Humongous Creature from the Pit of Hell was going to get away from me.

I zoned out Mary’s screaming. I focused on The Nasty Creature. It filled my vision. It was all I could see. My blood was boiling. I was getting angry.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mary’s flip flop. I carefully slid it on my foot. The Creature looked like it was about to move. I saw my chance. I took it.

I Hulk-stomped the Son of Satan.

And it flattened.

And then I stomped it again. Just because I could.

I stared at it, fierce victory rising in me. I lifted my head and gave a true rebel yell. I was invincible. I was unstoppable. I was…hungry.

Apparently, my body’s natural response to trauma is hunger. But I had conquered, so it was okay. I ate a Klondike bar to celebrate.

Mary told me later that, after I squished The Roach, I looked a little bit possessed, and, when I yelled, I sounded like I was a choking yodeler. I sure love her.

But, considering all the screaming that went on, I’ve always been really surprised that no one came to see what was wrong. We were really loud for a really long time. The RA didn’t even come over.

And that, dearies, is why Mary and I decided to move out of the dorm – no one came to save us in our hour of need.

Actually, there were lots of other reasons, and it was more like two hours.