Let Leaping Dogs Fly

Woman, mother, scientist, wife, human. I post occasionally about any and all of these things. Whatever strikes my fancy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The brain that ate New York

My comprehensive oral exams are coming up this Tuesday, so instead of doing fun things like celebrating Thanksgiving or sleeping restfully, I have been studying. I'm not sure I've ever studied as much and as thoroughly as I have for this process, which is really saying a lot, since I am normally a brilliantly lazy academic. Those of you who have lived with me before are probably familiar with the other side of this preparatory coin: perfection anxiety. Am I worried about failing the exam? Do I lie awake wringing my hands for fear of not knowing an answer? Certainly not. I worry that I won't remember every single thing I've ever learned about my-favorite-obtuse-topic-in-biology well enough to reference it in the 2 hours allotted to me for learned discourse. Come on, think about it: when will I ever again have a captive audience willing to listen to me talk about everything from the social biology of naked mole rats to the feeding mechanics of the jaws of Largemouth Bass? These poor souls don't know what they're in for. It is absolutely necessary that I use this time to discuss all those bits of trivia I've been saving up for just such an occasion as this; therefore I am experiencing stress. Poor Mike has been bearing the brunt of this; for the last two nights I've woken up in some sort of fury and shoved him as he's come to bed (several hours after I've gone to sleep, as is our habit). Why? Because he's been unlucky enough to interrupt me while I've been dreaming about my perfect oral exam performance, which is somehow taking place in Hawaii and being conducted in French. That and the fact that he crawled into bed last night and put his arcticly cold hand on me for longer than 0.005 nanoseconds, to which I reacted as I would normally react because dammit man, your hand was really cold!

You may all commence with the teasing now. On today's agenda, I will paint one wall in the kitchen, bake a pie, and generally work hard to not think about my exam. I will probably also study a quantity of material equivalent to a one-semester college course, digest it, relate it to the constellation of information already crammed into my head, and bleed profusely from my eyeballs.

A side note to all you lurking Tanners: don't be shy, come on out and comment if you want. You know who you are, Jeff.


  • At 11/29/2005 04:18:00 PM, Anonymous Jeff said…

    Since prompted, I suppose I am compelled to offer a comment.

    Question. Do you talk in your sleep? If so, then Mike's intrusion into your peaceful slumber may simply have been a last ditch effort to retain sanity after listening to hours of your sleep induced monologue about the biology of naked mole rats or the reproductive habits of paddlefish.... could you blame him if he stuck his hands in the freezer for 30 minutes then attempted to give you a massage?

    But not to defend Mike, he was probably just being a smartass.

  • At 11/30/2005 01:16:00 AM, Blogger setagel said…

    Well, since you're the only person who's come out and told Mike that you're reading, you're the only person I can pick on...

    How can I know if I talk in my sleep, if I'm asleep when I do it? Actually, I do, but apparently it's manageably small amounts of unintelligible gibberish. Just like what I write here in the blog. Nothing bad enough to warrant the icy hands of death.

  • At 11/30/2005 04:52:00 AM, Anonymous Mike said…

    Hmm, I feel compelled to publicly defend my self here and likely also incriminate myself at the same time. I state for the record that the incoherent ramblings of my dear beloved scientist is really not very annoying, if for no other reason that I do not speak, nor comprehend whatever dialect of mumble she is using to hold forth with at 3 am. However the alarming tendency that accompanies this is the rare, but significant, attempts to deposit me onto the floor while I am sleeping unassumingly on my small scrap, nay, sliver of matress I am alloted. I have in my wide and varied experience encountered sleep talkers, walkers, crawlers, screamers, and even bandit sonambulist poopers (yes, there is a story to that); but never someone who attempts to push a peacfully sleeping loved on out of bed in the wee hours of the night. Imagine awakening just before your center of gravity crosses the side of the bed (ie point of no return), yep, just like those falling dreams that awaken you just before impact. So I hold in my defense a need to maintain cold hands to be able to quickly reply in the event that I suddenly awaken and find myself enroute to the carpet in reality not dream. See, I am not being anything near the accusation of smartassedness. I now leave you an hope that I survive to reply again.

    Kidding about not survive, as I'm lucky enough to usually land on my head. Anyone who knows me will vouch that I am extremely unlikely to recieve any significant injury leading with my head.


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