Friday, May 24, 2013

Girlfriend Not

I don’t have a girlfriend. In fact, I have not had a girlfriend (i.e. relationship) in the eleven years since my divorce. To be truthful, I find it unlikely I will ever have a girlfriend. Let me tell you why that is.

Searching for a girlfriend is too much work. Every time you encounter a woman you are evaluating her, judging her, giving her a score. Deciding whether or not to approach, or flirt, or to ask for her number, or to ask her out. This is not something you can do just some of the time. You are working against the law of averages here, so to have any success whatsoever you have to engage in it most of the time. I am sure some men thrive on this activity. To me, however, it is a chore. It is distracting, and eventually exhausting. Ultimately, that is not who I am. It isn’t me.

Internet dating, you may suggest. That might work if most people used internet dating simply as a means of meeting people. Two problems. Sit In Judgment and False Intimacy. Everyone Sits In Judgment while internet dating. You become much more demanding, much less accepting, and generally less trusting. You are looking for what you don’t like, as opposed to what you do. When you decide to convey interest, and it is mutual, then you should meet in person. But not so for most; they prefer to exchange information, history, etc. Get to know each other online. This can generate False Intimacy. You think you know a person, but you really don’t. All you have is information, not knowledge. During this time you fill in the blanks with your imagination, which is almost always busted when you eventually do meet in person. Internet dating? No thanks.

Inertia. Some people are perpetual daters. When one relationship ends they quickly move into the next one. It is really just one long relationship. You do the same things, behave the same way, your needs and wants are the same, and your eventual issues are the same. You just trade out partners over time. When I first divorced I purposely avoided any thoughts of dating. I am used to being on my own. Inertia now keeps me out of a relationship.

Not because I can. I am not going to go out with someone just because I can. There has to be something extra there. I am not talking love at first sight (which I don’t discount, either). I am looking for something a little extra that separates her from other women I find attractive. And I have to feel this something extra, as opposed to it simply being a woman’s apparent interest in me (which is always good but by itself cannot sustain). Have I felt this something extra? Yes, I have, but to no avail.

I live my life. I do the activities I want to do. If in doing so I meet someone, get to know her, and we hit it off, then fantastic. If not, then fantastic.



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Conduct Unbecoming

I am quite certain my application to become a member of the University Conduct Board will be rejected.


Please provide a response that is one paragraph long to each of the following prompts and attach your typed responses to your application:

What makes you interested in serving on the University Conduct Board?

Dirty laundry. Like my own little reality show. Well, not my show. Because it wouldn't be about me. I would get an opportunity to learn about the crazy-ass shit students do. The more salacious the better!! Then when I go out drinking I can use the cases as talking points, of course not revealing any student personal information, unless related to some (even local) celebrity. Nothing brings us together more than someone else's dirty laundry.

Describe the role you believe the University Conduct Board plays in the University Community.

The Conduct Board helps make school administrators feel all warm and fuzzy about how much they care about student welfare and personal growth, so they can convey an image other than greedy money-grubbing (as if there were any other kind). It also serves as proof in the pudding the university means serious business when it comes to putting someone on double-secret probation.

Explain your comfort level suspending or expelling a student.

If a student is truly warped or evil or cruel or hateful, then yeah, I would totally suspend or expel their ass. That would mean the laundry was especially dirty, and since suspension and especially expulsion are difficult to hide (even though it is part of a student's protected record), pretty much everyone will know! Can I drop the hammer? Yes I can.

Describe the previous experience you have that will assist you in serving on the University Conduct Board.

First off, I am a parent of two teenage children. So that pretty much gets me in right there. Additionally, I have a wealth of experience regarding university conduct. There was that one time I discharged a fire extinguisher in someone's dorm room. Or the many times we had toilet paper roll fights in the hallway that sometimes escalated into bottle-rockets. Or the time we had a "punch-a-thon" party on our floor. Or the time I was abducted at 3AM, blindfolded, ankles/wrists tied with duct tape, and taken out to the Swine Center and left in a pile of pig shit (mostly unwarranted). Or the time my room was searched for a BB or pellet gun (totally unwarranted). Then there was the time we reserved a university vehicle for a valid use but drove it all weekend, parking on the sidewalk just outside the dorm. Or the few times I filled an album cover (remember those? Like giant cardboard envelopes) with shaving cream and slipped the open end under a door and stomped on it so as to spray the room. Or maybe jamming a stack of pennies between a door and the door-jam so the resulting friction makes it very difficult to turn the door knob, effectively locking someone in their room. Maybe that one time it was below freezing and we dumped several 50 gallon trashcans full of water onto the quad and removed the front panel from the water fountain and used it as a sleigh, pulling each other around by a rope of neckties. Or the times I yelled obscenities out of the window, directed towards the lowly residents of adjacent dorms. Finally, there were the many times I played my stereo at high volume. Yeah, I have a bit of experience regarding university conduct.







Friday, May 10, 2013

My First Lockdown

The alert text said active shooter, lock down initiated. I locked down. I stood in the corner of my office. I heard a pop from outside. Is that a gunshot? Is it related to nearby construction activities? Did they get locked down, too? I am on the third floor. Can I look out the window? Can I peak around the edge? I can hear the door to the stairwell closing. Then a second time. Is someone entering the floor, or leaving? Why aren’t they staying put? Why aren’t they friggin’ locking down?!

In my building I am responsible for clearing the floor for emergency drills, and when it is not a drill. As such I have a radio/walkie on my desk. I use it for drills, and we also use them for ceremonies (for which I am required to volunteer). This morning a voice called out on the radio, saying something like this: “Attention. Attention. This is not a drill. This is not a drill. We will probably be going into lockdown. Please tune to the emergency channel for updates.” The volume was loud enough so several people on my floor could hear, and they were all soon standing at my door.

Probably? He said probably. I took the radio and went down a floor to the building manager and he decided to forgo the probably and just announce on the building intercom to go into lockdown.

Probably? He said probably. This radio message came across at about 8:55. The official lockdown was announced at 9:06. Two building occupants (whom I spoke with) entered the building around 8:45 and in front of the building saw an officer armed with a rifle. The lockdown text said “active shooter” last seen at 8:18. This timing does not work for me. Seems like a belated decision. Turns out the guy didn’t have a gun at all, and was never even close to the location referenced in the lockdown alert. Do we count this as “fog of war?”

Lockdown. What to do? You are supposed to get behind a locked door and make it look like no one is home. I turned off the lights. I locked my computer. Because, you know, if I am locking down then so is my computer.  I silenced my cell phone. I put the headset on the radio so I could monitor the emergency channel.
Where to put my body? Under the desk? Are you kidding me? I don’t want to be trapped under my desk if someone forces their way into my office. I stood in the corner, along the same wall as the door, at the opposite end. Someone forces their way in and they are getting a chair to the head, Jerry Springer style. Can’t do that from under the damn desk.

So. I was in lock down. I ended up exchanging texts with my sister to finalize lunch plans. I was IM’ing data specifications with a colleague who was working from home. I exchanged emails with my boss and co-worker regarding the co-worker’s request for time off. I stood in the corner some more and decided I was too restricted in case someone forced their way in. I rearranged the chairs and some boxes. I waited.

No real threat, but a real lockdown. Better than a drill. Am I ready for next time?