Friday, November 19, 2010

Here's how my "day off" went.

It's funny, on professional development (PD) days, kids assume we get the day off, too.

Not so, muchachos and muchachas.

Normally we get subjected to guest-speakers and workshops which are mildly-interesting at best, and eye-gougingly boring at worst. But, I got sent a flyer from UofT a few weeks ago which advertised a day-long program for the PD day, put on by the Faculty of Engineering, catered lunch provided. I put the call out to the rest of the department: "Do you want to stick around the school and be put through hell-on-earth, or do you want to go downtown and learn neat stuff and get fed?"

All but one of us signed up for the UofT thing, and I have my doubts about the holdout.

Unfortunately, the day got off to a rousing start just after 5am, when I woke up with possibly the most excruciatingly painful muscle cramp I've ever had in my life, in my left calf. Apparently bananas (and the potassium they contain) help with preventing muscle cramps, but I've had four bananas in the past three days, so fuck you. My calf is still sore as hell.

My cold is at the point where (a.) I'm hacking up bizarre things (e.g. I may or may not have coughed up my gallbladder), (b.) my throat spontaneously gets as dry as the Sahara and I'd better have water at the ready, and (c.) my voice is 90% gone and all breathy and hoarse and wheezy and not sexy in the least, unlike a couple of days ago when it was all low and Barry White-ish (but yet when I tried to sing something really low to try and take advantage of this new vocal range, I found it impossible to control the pitch, so I was all over the place, and thank goodness I live alone).

Apparently my cold also causes run-on sentences.

I'm not used to taking the TTC downtown during the thick of rush hour — the closest I came was a few years ago, when I took a course at UofT which started at 8, so I guess missed the peak busy-ness by getting on the bus at 7:15. I never really thought about the sardine-tin situation on subways south from St Clair at 8:20 on a weekday, but I sure found out about it today. If we're supposed to all be good citizens and taking transit, how on earth can you fit more people on those trains?!

At any rate, once I got down there and all settled-in, the day was actually pretty interesting and fun. A bunch of us made roller coasters using pipe insulation and masking tape, and ours totally worked on the first try (and every subsequent run); lunch was delicious; and we had a really good set of round-table discussions on various issues facing students making the transition from high school to university courses. A fruitful (but slightly physically painful) day, for sure.

I just hope I'm well enough to do a little drinking on Saturday night; the bro is coming down, I'm going to try to get another couple of people together to put together a posse, and grand adventures will be had around town.



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