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sins of omission

I went to teach the swordfighting class today as the other guy is out of town, and the girl didn't show up until 10 past 12, 40 minutes past our usual starting time and literally 5 seconds before I walked out the door to leave.  Apparently she was told we'd start at 12, although I never got the memo.  I was pissed but I stayed nonetheless.  I was pretty hard on her in my critiques, although it's pretty obvious that she doesn't practice this outside of the class and that is something I can't tolerate.  It's all right there online, our group has pretty well (better than anyone else in the world, honestly) gathered the information together and made several explanations with picture, copious text, and videos.  How can you not use it, not take advantage of it?  I hate this with science students and I hate it with swordsmanship students.  I told her the last time, memorize this, memorize that, practice these on your own or you will not progress.  I wish she would just wash out if she doesn't want to improve. 

I went to Circuit city afterwards to get this digital picture frame for my mother, and it was apeshit in there, of course.  And of course, they were out of the damned frame.  So I called my sister and tried to triangulate a replacement, but Webster was like a kicked anthill, just bonkers.  I went to the mall and got her a vacuum cleaner (she still uses a metal Kirby vacuum from probably before I was born), a consumer reports best buy (I always check the lists).  Then I went straight to work and tried to get some writing done.  I'm too burnt today for some reason.  I was trying to include the part in my story about how I tried to transfect this cell line and replicate what we saw in the other line, but try try as I did, it wouldn't happen.  (I remember thinking I would wash out over this, it was quite an ordeal which stirred much wondering if I had any skills at all, and was infuriating when finally the post-doc told me flippantly that he didn't think it would've done it anyway and didn't stop me from wasting all the time and money on it)  However I took pictures upon pictures, dozens and ultimately hundreds of them, of the colonies I had, although they withered and died (or worse yet, lingered) like every houseplant I've ever taken into my care.  One day the hard drive storing all those pictures (and all the other ones for years back) went tits-up and I assumed I'd never see them again (not that I thought I'd need to, since it was a failure).  But years later I find that failures are sometimes worth noting,  if only to prove to certain groups of the middle-aged that I had indeed thought of that point and no, it didn't work.  Due to some luck I found my first student seminar powerpoint, which I cringe to look through (seriously, yikes), but right near the end are 5 monochrome TIFFs which brightened my night, and validated my wasted time hunched over the inverted scope all alone in the lab on a saturday night, as I sit hunched over the laptop all alone in the lab on a saturday night.


As a postscript, I keep hearing lately praise about me graduating soon and so quickly no less and gee, we've scheduled your classes so you won't have left town on us you up and comer, and I don't want to hear it.  I am not done here, I don't have a job lined up after this yet, I haven't defended, haven't even got a final draft past my PI.  I get a sick feeling thinking about any of it because the abyss is staring right through me.  My nightmare frequency is increasing and stress-times are the worst times for me to receive praise;  it feels fake and ominous, and I do my best to ignore it until I feel centered and settled.  I hope I can just keep my eyes on the prize and my earplugs in for the next six months.