Saturday, April 14, 2012

rabid squirrels

My brain is possessed by rabid squirrels on Fridays. I used to look forward to Fridays and the weekends when I was younger and life was simpler. I still look forward to weekends because really, I get significantly fewer night-time and weekend trouble calls from work these days, and now that classes are over I get to sleep in sometimes. Just thinking I might get some time to do something I want to do gives me a sense of hope.

It must be that the fifth day of hell that is every Friday is just one day too many for my fragile, elderly, worn out brain.  By 8:30 AM, I start getting a wild-eyed stare. By 10 AM, grumbling sets in; everything and everyone annoys me. By 11 AM, I’m pacing and climbing walls. This past Friday afternoon (i.e. yesterday), I got some bad news in an email. Basically, my cat-herding project has failed. Why? One of the cats said “I’m not going to do this and nobody can make me.” Management’s response was, “OK, you don’t have to. Our standardization initiative was only a fantastical whim and not intended to be a strategic direction."

So, rather than scream curse words at my computer, gouge out my eye with a highlighter, or pick up my cubicle wall and throw it through the window, I went for a walk. It was a beautiful day outside yesterday.  Squirrels and ground squirrels were hippity hopping everywhere. Red headed woodpeckers were up in the trees making their exotic jungle noises. The locust trees are blooming, replacing the dogwoods that are all leafed out now and dropping their blooms.  The locusts are lovely when they bloom.
Black locusts make great fence posts.

Did I mention the IRB rejected my proposal application? I knew they would find something wrong; it’s OK.  Primarily, they have a different definition for “briefly describe” than I do.  When they asked me to briefly describe A, B, and C, they really meant “Describe in great detail A through H”. Also, they pointed out that a nondisclosure agreement is needed between me and one of the researchers who stated he wants a copy of my data in exchange for letting me use his scale. Fair enough.  I’m still waiting for my chairman to make the IRB clarify one of their more cryptic comments that neither of us understands. I’m not permitted to interact with the all-powerful IRB myself. I must have a middle-man (my chairman).    

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