Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gone Post-Al

Every week i need to assign a short answer question to the students in the genetics class. It has always been the worst part of my job, particularly this year. It seems they go out of their way to give me the most incoherent, wrong answer they could muster. It's like a challenge. "Chris, I dare you to fail me... I DARE YOU!!! Yeah, i wrote that genes were something you wear on your legs! I did that!"

I received a short answer question the other day where by the student tried to define what non-random mating is. I should be understanding. There is no crime in not knowing something. Or is there? When I read this particular answer I thought back to the previous week when I assigned the question in the first place. I openned the chapter we were studying to the very first page and asked a question based on exactly what is written. All they needed to do was copy that information out of the book, they didn't even have to read the chapter. But that's not all, so desperate was I to make the question easy for them, I actually told them the answer. "This is the answer class! It's in your book! Write this! You can copy out of the book, or you can write down what I'm saying right now!"

So I sit down to correct these questions and I go totally nuts. Wrong answers??? VERY WRONG ANSWERS??? How is this possible?

Non-random mating. The answer in the book: "Individuals may mate at random or they may mate preferentially with close relatives, or preferentially with individuals with similar or disimilar traits.

Among the answers I received from students, "Non random mating... When people mate outside of their own subgroup...ie.. When a Russian mates with a Chinese."

Russian mates with... Sub... group??? What the bloody hell is this??? Man, I marked up his page with some good sarcasm and condescending rhetoric. Then I got even angrier when I realized he would never read what I wrote cuz it was the last class. Sometimes I feel like emailing this guy. "Are you mental? Did you do this just to provoke me? I gave you the answer you stupid piece of s**t!"

I'm also pretty frustrated with the buses. The 162 is one of the most foul buses to drive the roads. It should come every half an hour and it can't even commit to that! I mean, fine, there was a snowstorm last week. Yet, this week, I still find myself waiting for a bus for at least half an hour. And I stand there, staring into the horizon hopefully thinking to myself, "It hasn't snowed in days. The streets are clean... I can't live like this." Then the bus pulls up, busdriver scowling. Don't scowl at me! I know this bus starts it's route just down the street. There's no reason for you to be late, and every reason for me to pummel you until I'm satisfied that your physical pain is proportional to my emotional pain resulting from waiting for your sorry behind for so long. I pay 65$ a month for this s**t, so get your mother f**king act together and drive. I mean... why?!? Why even give out bus schedules. Just give out little pamphlets. On the front it would say 162 Bus and then you open it up and it says, "F**K YOU!" No times, no street names... Just a sincere expression of the true intention of all bus drivers, in two simple words. Hell, I'd even keep it in my pocket, so when the bus actually does show up I can say, "Hey! You're right on time!" And show him the inside of the pamphlet. Then he would nod and smile and we'd be on the same wavelength for a change.

But perhaps the thing that really got to me last week, was when I had been working all day, and at around 8:30 at night, I decided to get a little something to eat. The Loyola campus where I work, has no significant restaurants. There is the vermin infested greek place, dagwoods and subway. Then finale, there is a little diner called new moon. I hate them all. But, i need to eat, no? So I go to new moon, figuring I'll get something quick. I order some hot dogs. For half an hour I wait, while these morons are chatting with each other, looking at me with big smiles on their face and telling me, "It won't be long sir!"

It won't be long? It has been long! And when i get up to ask them about my food, the cashier, as if she forgot I was sitting 2 feet away from her becomes animated, "Where is this gentleman's hot dogs?" The guy who made them for some reason decided to pack it up and put it on top of some shelf instead of the counter where the food is distributed. They give me the food and I gave that old lady such a dirty look... Half an hour... for a few f**kin' franks!

I'm the kind of person who tries to find meaning in everything. I try and justify the fact that in any given week I literally spend hours, standing in the snow, fretting and fuming, or in a restaurant waiting for ironically named, fast food. As for students, i always thought I was super patient... But when they can't just regurgitate what I said in plain english...

I wish every second of my life was packed with action!!! Constantly stimulated like James Bond... You never see him waiting around. Or Chev Chelios from Crank. All the productive things I could do with those many forfeit hours... You know what I need? A car! I could drive to the beginning of the bus route to see exactly what it is that happens between the terminus and my stop that results in a 15-30 minute delay. Then, when I find the bus parked there, with a bunch of bus drivers, reading comics or doing God knows what, I would smash the bus to bits so they would actually have an excuse to be late. Then I could run over the dumber portion of my students... repeatedly!!! Then I would turn New Moon into a drive thru. Just put the pedal to the metal and drive right through the front of it. "That's the old school s**t!" I'd declare.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Montreal always amazes me. Every year you would think that it's the first time we've ever had a snowstorm. For the past two days now the bus has just decided not to come. And you'd think I would have the good sense to go wait for the bus, the old unfaithful 162, with my Ipod earbuds firmly secured into my ears. But instead today, for some reason, I just walked out and waited for the bus leaving myself vulnerable to all kinds of... socializing.

So this guy comes up to me with a big grey moustache and stuble, the slight smell of alcohol wafting from him. I just knew, deep down in my soul, that whatever hapenned next was going to be good. I really did. I was so excited to hear what was going to come out of this guys mouth. Let me tell you, he far exceeded my expectations. He immediately starts cursing and swearing, "Where's the bus? You know, there's a bunch of people at home not doing anything. Why not pay them to clean the f**kin' streets? Hello!" He ends 45% of his sentences with the word Hello!, said in a sarcastic way. "I mean, I work every day! How is that fair? Pay some people to clean the f**kin' snow! Hello!"

I just smiled and nodded. He continued, "I'm not racist or anything but..."

YES!!! I was right! The moment someone says they're not racist or anything you KNOW they're going to go on an incoherent racist tirade. I'm such a nerd, I'm thinking, "I can't wait to blog about this guy!"

So where were we? Oh yes, "I'm not racist or anything BUT!!! I hate when Arabs tell me what to do. I go into this guys house for work, he tells me to take off my shoes! With that rag over his head and... Back in my day you'd never hear people on the bus talking arab! If I take off my shoes, who's going to protect me if something falls on my foot? A f**kin' arab?? F**k no!!!"

BRILLIANT! And he just kept going, "Listen...I don't care if you're black or white...." That's a relief, otherwise whatever you were about to say might have come out wierd and awkward.

"...But back in the day when i was in jail, there would be some white people, and like two black people... Now! There's like... 150 black people in jail! I mean... I don't do anything but I sometimes end up in jail. Man I really gotta piss..."

So he walks out of the bus shelter and pees on a tree. Grood... That's some good blogging material. Or is it? He comes back to the bus shelter, by now we've been waiting about half an hour, and then some old lady comes, and they start cursing together about the terrible bus system. She says she might just take a cab. The old man says, "Oh, if you call a cab, remember, I'm your son!" She says, "My son?? How old do you think I am? This guy (points at me) could probably be my son, though."

Agewise maybe, but even this old drunk must have noticed I'm black, even if he's not racist or anything. So finally a bus comes. It's the 105, not the bus we're waiting for. Nevertheless, the drunken fool decides to start complaining to the bus driver about how it's ridiculous, yadda yadda, we pay so much for bus passes, don't they work? Why don't they hire more bus drivers? This driver just shrugs his shoulders. What could he really say?

"F**k the bus!" the drunk said. And I was inclined to agree with him. Another 105 bus comes. "F**k!!! I'm going to high jack the bus and tell him if he doesn't change the number to 162 I'm going to beat him... You know.... Like Speed? With Sandra Bullock??? Hello!! I don't care... What are they going to do? Put me in jail? Fine! No rent! Free Food! Hey... don't worry about it."

I wasn't worried at all, but some of the ladies at the bus stop worried when the 105 stopped and he actually started yelling and screaming at the bus driver, "Hey what's going on with you guys? I've been waiting here for an hour! Where's the 162?"

The bus driver says in french, "there's a lot of snow sir, I don't know if you've noticed."

Instant swearing! The drunk starts cursing the guy's mother and all bus drivers, gives him the finger. The bus driver then puts the wheel of the bus in that neutral position then he stands up and says, "Why don't you come here and say that?"

The drunk keeps yelling and the bus driver keeps egging him on. Wow, he would have killed that drunk. He was a pretty fit bus driver. In the distance I could see the 162 coming down the street, while these two idiots really look like they're going to start fighting. People start getting off of the 105. "F**k your mother! You bus drivers are idiots! Is this a joke? Then they call me ignorant. Hello!"

Bus driver says, "You think you could do better? Why don't you go get a job application you homeless so and so..." Then finally he drives off, realizing the drunk really isn't doing anything to hinder him.

Anyway, finally we get on the 162 and the drunk curteously lets everyone on before him. I make my way to the back of the packed bus while he continues his inebriated ramblings. Finally someone shouts out, "No one is listenning!" To which he responds, "That's good. I like talking to myself." Well, that's that. Honestly, I liked that little idiot. He was a lot of laughs. Goodnight, Sweet Prince.

Then some white guy in a red coat gets up and starts rapping some song about how nobody should f**k with him and he's a soldier or something. As he leaves, an older white man says, "Rap music is an amazing embellishment (what?). It all started with Shaka Khan. (Is it a full moon tonight?)" Then he goes on a little rant.

Long story short, it took me 1 hour and a half to get home, when I could have walked it in 30 minutes.

The End