Oh, Good Grief

by Jinryu

Location: @ werk
Time: 6:12AM (finished in one hour! wohooo!)
Batteries: 70% (Surprisingly, I’m not tired today…)

on the 20th day of Christmas, my ER gave to me:

10 fever/cough
9 crying / irritible
8 abdominal pain
5 vomiting with diarrhea
4 minor head injury
3 ?UTI
2 neck trauma/contusion

and a kid with a peanut allergyyyyyy


Yesternight, Terminator and I were playing chess. It’s one of the few times that we played while we were both in top physical condition, as far as we’re ever top– that is to say, he wasn’t stoned, and I wasn’t sleep deprived– and it was an interesting game indeed. It was truly a clash of the titans.

In the end it ended in a stalemate, but, considering that he had the advantage in terms of firepower (a one pawn advantage, while each of us had a rook otherwise) I consider it a minor victory to have forced a draw. The situation swtiched tides a couple of times– at some point in the midgame, I managed to exchange a bishop for one of his rooks, but later on I missed one of his moves and lost a knight in exchange for two pawns. By the endgame, things had gotten a bit strange, since more exchanges were made in favor of a stronger position, but through a series of position fortifying exchanges (which Terminator calls “gay chess”) I managed to get it just right so that his own pawn advantage was nulified. We were both too tired and knew eachother too well rather than think that either of us woul de dumb enough to throw away a game of king + rook vs king + rook, so we called it a draw.

I don’t play enough board games like chess lately, and it’s always fun to exercise that poorly maintained part of my brain every now and then.


So, this mom comes in earlier and her kid is suffering from an allergic reaction. Peanuts. In case you didn’t know, people who have peanut allergies are generally second only to egg allergies, but well, both are still potentially life or death situations.

Thankfully [Bella], a nurse, was at triage taking care of another patient so she was able to get them rushed into the Crash Room immediately. Here’s the best part–

the mom had the kid’s epipen in her hand, but she hadn’t used it.

Her child, only four years old, looked like a little Mr. Potato Head when I saw her– everything was swollen, except unlike Mr. Potato Head, her eyeballs seemed ridiculously small because the area around them had swollen almost to the point of them being shut.

She’d called for an ambulance from her home when she realized that the kid had had a spoon of the stuff (question: why in hell do you even have peanut butter in your home if your kid is deathly allergic to peanuts?) but the estimation from emergency dispatch was that it’d be faster if she drove in. So, she’d burned pretty much every red light and made it here in under 15 minutes, but hadn’t used the epipen, yelling at the nurse later that she hadn’t had time to do so.

[Bella] thought that was too idiotic to believe, even given that she was in a panic state. While the doctor was present, [Bella] asked the mom to then, on the spot, administer the epipen.

The mom didn’t know how. It wasn’t that she was too panicked. When she was later tested again, after the kid was stabilized, she actually didn’t know how to use it.

Now, if your kid has a fatal allergy, don’t you suppose it might behove you to learn to use the fuckin’ counteragent, since it exists, and you have it? What, do you just keep that thing in your purse for a conversation starter?

The kid almost choked to death on her own espohagus, there’s your party story for you.


I need to get cracking on that university application. I sent in the transcripts, but I didn’t really even look at the essay topic or the other written requirement stuffs. I’d like to hopefully get it out of the way before the end of next week, because it’d be nice to know sooner than later in January what’s going on with all that.


Lately, [Supergirl] has been worrying about the future. I don’t necessarily mean us, as a couple, because I guess that’s a subject that we choose to ignore for the most part. If you know anything about me, it’s that I kind of chose not to worry about thing that I think I can’t change. And so you’ll make a second observation– that I’ve estimated that this situation is out of my hands. Anything I can do to make her stay would not be the right thing for me to do.

Lets leave it at that. And in the mean time, I’ll continue to live my life with her, and record here just how much I love her.


She’s been worrying just about her schooling in general. She’s graduating this year from Physiology, and is applying to schools in Ireland and Australia. What if she doesn’t get in, she wonders?

I guess it’s something that I don’t really understand well– worrying about school, I mean– because though teaching a bit last year made me really appreciate the teacher/student relationship, it also drove the nails in on what is my already poor outlook on the education system we’ve got in place. I just don’t really respect the premise of post-secondary learning. And if you ask me who I am to judge, I’m someone who’s actually got his university degree, worked as a university level teching assistant, served as a sole liason between the federal government and our school’s sustainability program, and worked as a teacher (and I mean a real teacher, not just a someone who speaks english) overseas. And I’m applying for my masters.

What has come through all of these experiences? It’s that a fairly small percentage of things that are important in my everday life actually come from textbooks, or the things that my teachers are explaining out of textbooks. The important stuff all comes from the experiences in between the pages not of textbooks, but of our journals. Ticket stubs, photos, souvenirs, scriblles, doodles, coffee stains, scars.

Mind you, it’s true– I did learn, over the years, techniques of my studies– but what I’m saying isn’t that educational institutions are useless– it’s that the premise that they provide us with futures is misleading. It’s quite the opposite– they’re not providers of futures, but gatekeepers, if what you want lies beyond those credentials they’re selling.

In looking around for a school at which to do my masters, invariably I looked at few dozen websites, orderd buncha information packages, and the works.

All of theme follow this theme that seems to suggest than an education will get you to your future.

This isn’t a third world country– when we say education, we don’t mean you know how to do something practical like plow a field or build a house. We’re talking about stuff way beyond that: you’re learning about how to plot trends in consumer spending so you can decide that the safest color for your store to sell in winter is black; you’re learning how to supercool a circuit so that it’s resistance to electon flow is nigh-zero; you’re learning about how PVC showercurtains emit a slow creeping fume that binds itself to enzymes in your bloodstream, resulting in measurable levels of carinogenic toxicity; I’m learning about how to do a Marxist reading of a piece of Churchill’s writings.


But you know, the way that first world civilization runs is that we have to assume that there is a way, despite that there might be no way. We are tapped into a perfect line of credit that will not cease to provide us with vision of the future even whilst we empty our pockets.

And that’s how they get us.


If you asked me why I’m interested in doing my Masters, I’d probably say that it’s mostly because I’m bored. And I do like studying English– I just couldn’t stand being in class, or listening the dialogue between my classmates and the teachers. That’s another story. There are side benefits– I’ll be the first of my dad’s side of the family to ever get a Masters. And while satisfying their glory is far from one of my intention, if I can do something to make them proud, and it’s on the side something that I want to do for myself, why not? That’s also another story.

I am not, however, doing my Masters with any expectation that it’ll get me anything like the great future that the university seems to be peddling at me.

If there’s any future in store for me, it’s my own work, it’s my own volition– as far as I’m concerned, the university is just in my way. It’s the boss fight I need to do to get a stupid piece of paper. The fight itself is what means something to me, that makes me a better person, and the ‘credentials’ are the rewards. The university does not ‘bewstow’ anything upon me, it doesn’t enable me. It gives me what, if I got somewhere else, will not be recognized, since the university hold the monopoy on recognized education. In my book, that makes the university an agent of tyranny, albeit agreed upon for the convenience of a society that likes the eficiency of standards.

I suppose the difference is trivial.

Don’t you think it’s insane, though, how, you finish high school and somewhow you’re supposed to know what it is that you want to do for the rest of your life? How you, as a cog, are to fit into the rest of the world?

It seems to be a ludicrous prospect because by the time we’ve finished high school most of us still know very very little about life. How do we know that we want to be doctors or engineers or lawyers? We like the idea of it– but we don’t actually know what it means to really do it for a living. Where would we get our impressions? From television? God, please don’t say we learned anything from television!

It’s not to say that being in a university doesn’t help us get towards what we want to do. It does, exactly that, actually– the problem is that it doesn’t tell us what we want to do.

There is something you win at the end, but the question is: are you fighting the right boss fight?

Are you playing the right game?

But I guess, if you’re not sure, your only choice is to play anyhow and see.