Wednesday, January 12, 2011

the lucky seven

As with many of you, Carrie and I are hanging out at our respective homes enjoying a snow day.  I was actually going to go into work today for day two (out of four) of the academic suspension hearings and then Carrie said: "How can they ask you to come in during a storm when school is closed?  I wouldn't go in. That's not right."  So I followed her sage advice and stayed home.

Today's blog is going to focus on her adventures with her new neighbors and any other random things we come up with.  If you're lucky, we might say something clever.

Highlights of her new neighbors:

1.  Right now Carrie's town is under a winter storm warning; businesses and schools are closed and she just told me how her new neighbor "Muffy" just cleaned around her car - with a broom - and after getting stuck a few times drove away.  Apparently one of the neighbors was snow blowing and as he was putting his snow blower away, he looked at Muffy, shook his head and went inside.  She managed to leave and returned approximately seven minutes later.  Clearly she didn't know the entire city of Quincy was closed.  Muffy's roommate "Bess" is now cleaning off her car.

2.  One of the amazing things about Muffy and Bess is how loud Muffy is and Bess isn't.  Muffy is an interesting character.  For example one of the highlights of their moving in was drunk night where we could hear (I was visiting Carrie for New Year's) Bess mumble and Muffy talk about "I like Kevin but I don't love him and he's nice but I broke up with him and now I just don't know what to do and I'm really in love with (different name we couldn't hear) and miss him so much".  Later that night we heard "OH MY GOD I just farted!".  Of course we probably shouldn't be listening but its impossible not hear them and you know, we're sociologists, we watch and listen to people.

3.  Muffy has an interesting way with people.  One day she met the cable guy - who was so enraptured by her he not only gave her his phone number but also left his clipboard with important papers on it behind Carrie's car in her driveway.  When cable guy was leaving, we heard a lot of giggling and "Oh yes, I am definitely going to call you... thank you so much... you're really cute and I've been really sad lately so I'm going to call you."  I didn't realize that cable instillation came with a date.

4.  Apparently Muffy has religious super powers. Carrie found out why she was she was sad it was because a friend hers has cancer and she thought she was going to die.  Just a little reminder, this is all being heard clearly in Carrie's living room while Muffy is on the phone in her apartment across the hall.  Carrie and Muffy have never actually met.  Muffy was talking to someone and explained that her friend's cancer can be removed and that she felt that her friend was getting better all because of her.  She said that "she decided to pray for her friend.  She was lying in bed, looking at the ceiling and crying and kept looking at the ceiling."  She emphasized that "she doesn't normally keep her eyes open when praying, she usually keeps her eyes closed because that's how she was taught to pray.  But she was lying there with her eyes open and prayed Please God don't let her die.  You can't do this to me."  And lo and behold within a few days she got a phone call that said that her friend was going to be ok and it's all because of me, because I asked God".

5. Compare this to the fascinating things I've been hearing at the suspension hearings.  For example - "I didn't turn in my paper because on the day it was due the word processing program I was using ended because apparently it had only a three month trial period and the note I had of things that I had to do became corrupted on my computer so I couldn't open it and I didn't know what I had to do.  I realize that I'm a little disorganized so to get better I'm going to invest in a memory training kit and acquaint myself with getting a tutor and will meet with my professors about how I'm doing."  Of course he, like many other students we talked to, didn't realize that a lot of his problems could be solved by looking at this thing called a syllabus.

6. Cmte:  "what do you think is a good grade", multiple students:  "C or C-".

7. This is the worst one - picture a student with a blank face throughout this whole exchange: Cmte (to a third year student who has 40 something credits to go): "in order for you to earn a 2.0 overall GPA, you're going to have to take seven semesters of coursework with a 3.0 gpa each semester and you've never had a 3.0 gpa and you have to take 300 level and higher courses and have never gotten above a C- in any class over 200 level."  Student:  "I worked it out with my advisor that I only have to take six semesters of classes left to graduate."  Cmte:  "with the plan you have with your advisor you'd have to take eight semesters (four courses each semester) because you're retaking classes you didn't pass before and that still doesn't mean you'll earn a high enough gpa to have a 2.0 overall."  Student repeats what they just said.  Cmte: repeats what it just said (x a zillion times).  Eventually Mom pipes in:  "so you're saying hard work doesn't matter.  Why are we just finding this out now?  Why did you let this go so far?"  Cmte: "We had this same exact conversation a year ago with (insert name here) and there's been no improvement.  This is (insert name here) third time before the suspension committee and (insert name here) has been on probation most of their time at UMF and there's been no significant change in (insert name here) academics."  Needless to say, we upheld the suspension.

Clearly Carrie and I are living the dream.