Waltham Weekly 14
Being Sick at College

16 February 1999

Greetings to All.

It's been a long lousy week here in Waltham. I never was much of one for mincing words. I figure, if you can't be honest about it, it ain't worth speaking of. & basically, it comes down to the fact that it's been a difficult & rotten 5-6 days. Actually, today wasn't so bad. Today involved being a lot better than I've been in a while, leaving the building, returning to classes, & crazy stuff like that. But I ought not complain. Life improves; we appreciate.... I ask only one thing of all of you... please appreciate every second you are healthy. Because it's really appreciable.

Being sick at college is one of those unique experiences that one never really wants to happen to them.... but it always does, sooner or later. It's a lot easier to ditch classes when you can't see the building in which they convene out your window. Back in high school, there were the parents to feed you soup & plop you under blankets in front of the TV so you could numb your mind along with the rest of you. You could sit in bed & pretend it was a weekend or a holiday or school never existed. Here, no such distractions exist & the only source of sympathy is those who are sick with you... as it happens, about 6 of us on the hall (incl. my new roomie Todd) got sick at about the same time & so we all comiserated. Meanwhile, Andy was scared all the way to the "mods" (where his senior sister lives on the other end of campus) for the last week to sleep. A very sensible approach to keep his immune system healthy & avoid the germs found in 212. Only trouble is, he went to play tennis nearly every morning from 5-7.... Now, 5-7 am in the Boston metro area the past few days is not the best place or time to build up one's immune system. But such is the way of Andy. Suffice it to say that he was disappointed when I didn't actually buy him the bumper sticker: "I only do what the little voices tell me to".

So, I sat in my room & slept. Yes, that's right, for all you people who were going to poke fun & make your remarks (or those who already have, Freez, Gris, etc...), I slept more in a week than people should in a month. It was disgusting, it was boring, it was hard to breathe. I drank enough orange juice to keep those south Florida co-ops going well into the 22nd century. & I turned away enough drugs from roomies, hallmates, & other college-roaming folks to start a small chain of worldwide pharmacies. Ah well. Migraines are one of those special blessings that make every illness that much better. But I'll stop complaining, I promise. Really.

I complain so much, perhaps, to explain to all the people I was supposed to see this weekend at Harvard why I never came into town. Seeing only the inside of Scheffres for days on end is motivation enough in itself to want to leave campus, but I couldn't move (let alone board a train & judge debate rounds) till Monday morning, so.... Kate actually came in this morning (I'm still thinking it's Monday now... bear with me) to see campus & visit my East Asian Civ class... fun stuff all around. I would've appreciated an earlier call from SOME people, but we won't name any names here.... you know who you are.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you. I can think of maybe 6 of you who are actually in happy relationships now (yes, that does include you, Mom & Dad!), making the rest of us wonder why the day exists & give further cause for bitterness & all that, but such is not to be delved-into for now. A few of us were considering dressing in all black, carrying dead flowers, & pointing accusingly at happy couples on campus all day long. But we're not that upset, really we aren't. & those happy people probably wouldn't be thought-provoked so much as perturbed or angered, which wouldn't prove anything anyway. Come to think of it, the whole experiment is rather silly, but sometimes we get in these moods.... it would've been really convincing with me coughing up a lung too.... oh well.

A bright spot in the week was watching (for only the 5th or 6th time in my life) my favorie movie of all-time, "The Shawshank Redemption", with PeltaHeller, Stina, & Ariela (who had never seen it before, a crime against all humanity). I have just recently supplemented the wall above my desk with a fantastic monochrome poster from said film. It is to be hereinafter known as "The God of Posters" & shall ever forward be referred to as such. Deference must be paid upon entering Scheffres 212. The plethora of quotes & life philosophies which can be derived from that movie are virtually endless; only to be surpassed by "Watership Down". So that improved the quality of my week tenfold, which, at the previous rate, wasn't that hard to do.

My parents tell me that my "home" address is moving. I still go home to the same address, but my mail apparently won't anymore. If you ever send me mail at home again (y'know, that three-dimensional stuff with stamps that goes through things that aren't wires), here ya go:

2400 Rio Grande Boulevard NW
Suite 164
Albuquerque, NM 87104

Speaking of homes & addresses.... I've had way too much time to sit in front of my computer the past 5 or 6 days. The result can be found at my new home page. I've found that it's actually not difficult to do some basic programming &, at the risk of becoming another one of these cyberjunkies you see memorizing pi numerals or hunched over computer terminals at MIT, I've taken some time to do a little design work. As time allows, it may be updated from time to time, but it's at a pretty stable point right now, if you ask me. So, go there. Now. You'll like it. C'mon, you know you want to. Everybody's doing it!


I've also designed the Scheffres 2nd Risk Page... go to the above page & click the link, or add "/risk.htm" to the above address to go there directly. Yes, I realize that to some this may look like an apparent excess of free time. I swear to you, it's just, um, not sleeping & not being healthy. Besides, it's really not that tough.

Okay. I'm rambling. Obviously, my quest for full mental & physical coherence has a few paths yet to travel this evening. I bid you all a great week... it's getting better all the time (it can't get any worse). If Lennon & McCartney can't offer you words of wisdom, then, well, we're all in trouble.

Kate, thanks for stopping by. It was great to see somebody this weekend who wasn't a Brandeisian. Some of these local kids are just that much more annoying when I see them all the more frequently, being bedridden & relying on them for meals, company, etc. Nice to break up the monotony.

Gemma, Lauren, Barrett, & Jenny, it would have been nice to see you guys... really sorry I wasn't able to. Hope the tournament was fun-filled & successful for all of you.... even if you were just judging, Lauren (I will stop by some day, I promise). Oh well... so it goes.

Shan & Jessica Hass, I owe you e-mail. I owe well nigh everyone e-mail, but esp. you two. Check out my website, have fun & all that, I'll get to it soon... I don't think anyone would've really been well-served by e-mail from the height of my illness... a bunch of griping & complaining never made anyone's day brighter.

Gris, that would be awesome if you could come on up for Spring Break. It's gonna be a madcrazy party that weekend shared by your break, Fish's, & Jake's (around the 19th, I think). So, please, venture on up.... I'll be coming down there 2 weeks later anyway; it'll be good. Sound good, stochie?

Fish, Jaque, & Chunx-o-Kunx, hope y'all had fun down in Sandy San-D. Woulda been great to be there, but we can't all live at each others' campuses ALL the time....

Mom & Dad, I'm feeling much better. Call off the National Guard, or at least the soup brigade. But thanks for calling so much during my illness, anyway!

Alrighty, folks that'll do for now. Take care, one & all... appreciate your wellness & don't get sick!

a Healthy life, a Wealth of love, & the Wisdom of peace upon you all,

"Get busy living or get busy dying."
     -Red [Morgan Freeman], "The Shawshank Redemption"


the Past has come and gone
the Future's far away
but Now only lasts for one second

[Quotes thanks to Hootie]