Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Almost Two Down…

…and just about one to go.  Ivan’s finals, that is.  Monday he finished Anatomy and today he’s tackling Histology.  Friday will mark the end of finals with the dreaded Biochemistry.  Right now he’s only one-third through the tests for the week, but by the time I publish this post, he’ll be two-thirds through!
            I’ve noticed a recent change in my interpretation of time.  It’s as if the closer we inch toward this term’s end, the more I fraction out our remaining moments.  For instance, on Monday morning I realized that we’d be flying home in exactly two weeks.  Then I corrected myself; since that thought occurred at 7AM, we would be flying home in exactly fourteen days and two hours.  Big deal, right?  How about this: I’m writing this before noon on Wednesday.  Ivan is done with finals on Friday.  If I’m counting whole days, I still have three days to wait before Ivan is finally free to relax with me!  But by the time I publish this post, midday will have passed and—if we’re only counting whole days—I get Ivan back in two days!  Then I start to fragment.  If I want to be more precise, I have to wait two and a half days.  But Ivan actually finishes his last final at 2PM, so wouldn’t that mean I only have two days (assuming a day is defined as 24 hours and I can count half of Wednesday and half of Thursday as a whole day)?  Since I’m already fragmenting, should I consider the possibility of him finishing early?  Or how long it takes for him to get home?  If I’m getting excruciatingly detailed, I’d need to backpedal to Monday at 7AM when an edited version of my thought should have been: In fourteen days and two hours, I will be on the plane that will transport me to the United States, but I probably won’t actually be flying yet.
            The thing is, all of these ridiculous countdowns aren’t a sign that I want to go home (though, of course I want to go home and can’t wait to see all of the people I love!).  I’m just eager for this abrupt change in pace.  Many of my readers are about my age and are probably familiar with the ‘90s cartoon series Animaniacs.  (Cue the collective nostalgic laugh.)  Until very recently, this term has felt like a recurring episode of Pinky and theBrain, in which each segment begins with this familiar dialogue:
Pinky: Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?
Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky, try to take over the world.
Whereas, in my version, the dialogue would run something along the lines of:
Allison: Gee, Ivan, what do you want to do tonight?
Ivan: The same thing I do every night, Allison, study until my ears start smoking.
Finally we get a little variation.  That’s why I’m dissecting time.

            As the term is drawing to a close, I’m finding myself as busy as the beginning of term.  My calendar is filled with little notes and appointments for the next two weeks—excuse me, the next eleven and a half days.  Since we’re moving on campus next term, we are trying to collect everything we’ll need for the new digs now.  That includes two transformers (each weighing in at 15 pounds!), pots and pans, dishes and utensils, a hot water heater, toaster oven, curtains, comforter (can you believe we get AC 24/7 on campus?!), and on and on.  What all of this procurement boils down to is traveling all over, from campus to L’Ance aux Epines to Mont Tout, meeting students for exchanges, then coming home to blow up our finance spreadsheet.  Keeping busy is better than being bored, though.  And with a constant itch of anxiety over what’s still left to finish before we leave, I know I won’t be getting bored again anytime soon.

            **In between writing, hanging laundry, making lunch and doing the dishes, noon has come and gone.  Two more whole days!**

            One mark of the end of this term was the closing social for the Significant Others organization.  The venue for this event was Dodgy Dock, a restaurant/hotel just down the road from us.  We had dinner and drinks, while visiting with friends.  We also got the chance to explore Dodgy Dock, which was kind of like a resort with two pools, a playground, bar, lovely grounds and lots of rooms.

            Monday was also our last visit to Queen Elizabeth for the term.  Of the seven SOs that went, three are leaving the island for good: Sarah (SO President), Stephanie (SO Volunteer Coordinator) and Jessie (SO Volunteer Coordinator).  To celebrate, the kids were given balloons and markers (with which to decorate the balloons) and flashy sunglasses.  As usual, the kids were a laugh riot and we had a great, albeit bittersweet, visit.

            I’ve previously mentioned our landlord’s coconut trees and how we help ourselves to their fruit.  Last weekend we noticed two more fruit-bearing trees and their branches arched heavily with clusters of fresh wax apples.  We picked two big bowls full.  Even after splitting them up and giving two bags to our friends, we still had so many.  I’ve been eating about half a dozen a day and the trees just keep getting heavier with more ripe bunches!  Luckily, they’re about as filling as lettuce and have about as many calories as sugar-free gum.  We picked another big bowl yesterday and, even after giving some away, still have fourteen left over.  And the fruit is still just dropping off the trees in handfuls!

That's a wasp nest in the tree... scary!

            In honor of the end of our first term, I put together the following montage.  I know this is a “Goodbye Grenada” composition, but you should probably fully expect another blog or two next week recounting our final days of the term. 

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