Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tales of a hahvahd Undergrad

Hi all! In case you didn't know, I've been keeping myself busy deep in the Place of Evil. That's right, hahvahd. I started working as a full-time research assistant in a developmental psycholinguistics lab there in July, and on the whole it's been pretty good. Sure, I have to walk across "the yahd" to run lab errands every now and then, and yes, at new employee orientation I had to watch three short videos about the glories of this ancient and revered university and the prestige we employees gain from it. But the linguistics stuff is interesting, the professor really has it together, I get to occasionally play with four- and five-year-olds, and I go home at five, whether the project I'm working on is finished or not. Basically, I'm paid to be a half-time student. Excellent!

As the title of the post implies, however, there is a hahvahd undergrad working at my lab. There were other undergrads there for most of the summer, in an internship program, but this girl wasn't part of the program, so she's still around these last few weeks in August, finishing up work before school starts (late here, of course). It wasn't so apparent when there were other people around to draw attention away from her, but recently it has become increasingly clear that this girl (Kelly) is either the worst employee ever or unbelievably stupid. And since I love anything that reflects badly on the cantabs...

Exhibit 1) Upon arriving at the lab, Kelly had no idea how to enter data in Excel. That's right, enter data. Not that she didn't know how to do stats with it or organize it -- she had literally never used the program. And it's not like she figured it out, either: someone had to show her how to enter the numbers in the desired cell and hit enter to move to the next one.

Exhibit 2) Today Kelly was supposed to go start transferring files from our current lab office, on the 2nd floor, to filing cabinets in one of our new lab rooms, on the 1st floor. She was sent down with the first carton of files, and came back in about 5 min, saying that she couldn't figure out how to get the filing cabinets open; they wouldn't come unlocked.
Since the keys to these filing cabinets are literally sitting in their key holes, I was somewhat surprised: "Did you try the keys in the hole above the drawers?"
"Yeah, I did. It felt like it was unlocking, but when I tried the drawers, none of them would open."
"You used the key in the lock?"
"Yeah. I don't know what's wrong..."
"I'll check it out."

I checked it out. The filing cabinets were unlocked. These filing cabinets just happen to be the kind with the little slide next to/below the handle that you have to push over when you open the drawer. This was apparently too complex to be readily apparent.

I could go on, but I think it's clear from the evidence above that either Kelly is incredibly inexperienced (well, she does go to hahvahd...) and none to bright when it comes to figuring anything out for herself, or she's a terrible employee, basically refusing to do anything without causing as much work as possible for everyone around her. The evidence, combined with what we all know about hahvahd already, was enough for me to decide which I believe.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Here's Looking at You, Ben

This past weekend was the first I spent in DC. It was super and exciting and now I'm sad to be in Croton but that's not what this post is about. This post is about what I did on my way home from DC on a very rainy and traffic-plagued Sunday evening. Deep in the wilds of New Jersey, I stoped somewhere, it doesn't really matter where, and got to do my favorite thing in the world. That's right, I got to look at Ben Jorns!

Ben, since I don't think you've posted yet, I will tell everyone about your new room (haha i was in Ben's room! scandaloous!!!!) Ben is living in the graduate college which looks just like Branford. His room has white walls and dark wood trim, just like Branford. The courtyard, slightly less beautiful (and dark and rainy), but most definitely Branford-esque. So now all Ben needs to do is find some new girls to make faces at from across the dining hall and he'll feel right at home!

After I got to see Ben's room, we went to a delish Indian food buffet for dinner. It was sooo good. While we were standing up and getting our food, I heard US! Right there, in an Inian Restaurant in Doesn't Matter, NJ, was Sabbath Slammasters in all its glory. All of a sudden, it stopped, as ben said "Hey Pop". That's right, Bens ring tone is still rocking. It was super exciting.

Our dinner was way too short and filled with TMI on my part and nerdy talk on Ben's, but oh boy was it fun. I highly reccommend stopping in on Ben whenever you are traveling through the Garden State. He may be somewhere that doesn't matter and studying something that is way over our heads, but he is still pretty fun.

And there you have it, an update on Ben's life because there is nothing to update with mine.

oh ps, Ben is very excited for the undergrads to come to campus- in his words, "That's the nice thing about undergrads, I keep getting older, but they stay the same age" and "I'm not a TA yet, so it's not sketchy".

Monday, August 20, 2007

how long have we been on this road?...

This weekend I went to Bethany Beach, Delaware to visit Dan Hammond and some other PC '05 apparently. My coworker drove and we were both surprised to find just how much...nothingness there is out there. I found myself amidst a lot more corn than I thought I would. And Bethany is nothing like Myrtle! 15 minutes out of the place and it's like civilization and/or commercialism gave up. I'd like a house 20 min from the beach, wouldn't you? Maybe a cheesy surf shop or two? But no. Just corn. A lack of a change of scenery makes it hard to gauge how long 10 miles is...

Other fun things of note are:
-the "Gay St" exit signs, where the y is always misaligned for some reason.
-eating at Sonic, which I had no idea was a drive-in, and that was pretty awesome. Had a chili cheese burger, and a banana cream pie shake. WhoaMG.
-I got 32 oz. beach fries at the beach. I decided against the 64 oz. (also DE has no sales tax!)

Alas the trip ended on a poor note when we ran into traffic, doubling the length of the car ride back to 5.5 hours. Also listened to the same Linkin Park CD the whole ride back. Ask me if you want to know "why" or how I survived.

Can you believe the summer's almost over?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It Never Rains in Southern California

Seriously. It doesn't.

This is my very first post ever to a blog, so you guys should feel very special :) So greetings from sunny Los Angeles, where I am now living and working. I survived my three-and-a-half-day cross-country drive from Georgia and am now renting a cute (read: tiny) studio apartment in Santa Monica only two blocks from my office (so no commutes or traffic jams!). Santa Monica is a separate city just to the west of Los Angeles proper with (somewhat) cleaner air and nicer (and yuppier) people, and I can even walk to the beach from my apartment. I also experienced my first earthquake last week, which I guess means I'm a real Californian now (it was very minor).

My new/first job -- the reason I moved out here -- is in market research, which has a whole lot to do with my Yale major (biomedical engineering). We work with several different types of companies -- film studios, video game makers, and a few others -- and collect and analyze consumer opinions about their products. Basically I get to tell people that I work with movies, which really sounds awesome and impressive, right? The people I work with are really young and very nice, which makes for a really great environment for a first job out of college.

I miss you guys lots, and as Jenny said, I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not moving back to New Haven in a couple of weeks. Life is almost boring after college without all of the parties and events. You guys are all welcome to come and visit, but bring a sleeping bag -- you'll be sleeping on the floor because I don't have any furniture (wouldn't fit in my apartment anyway).

And alas, no, I haven't seen any celebrities yet, but I'm keeping my eyes open ;)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Last night I had a dream that mostly consisted of Nick and Ben each making weird faces at me from across the room. So, basically, like every single meal in the Branford dining hall. Also Ben made fun of my hair (which is different now). In a nice way though.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

how i became a print expert, and other adventures

Hi everyone! Welcome to my first oh-sev blog post, brought to you by a “I was productive before and now have very little to do” day at work.

I love reading about all of your adventures to new places- right now I am still comfortably in the Best Chester, working for the organization that owns the historic site I worked at in high school. At first I hated the whole 9-5 thing a lot, but I got used to it quickly and am really enjoying myself. I get to spend all day looking at 19th century prints and I have a really cool boss who has given me a lot of authority over what we do with them. It’s suuuppper, check out my newest facebook album for some examples of what I’m looking at.

This job doesn’t end until September, but the weekend after next will be my first in DC. I’m moving into Doug and Will’s super sweet apartment with everything I could ever want, including a view of the airport and of airplanes landing and taking off. Their subletter is leaving that weekend, and I am starting to pay, so I’m gonna go down and play because lets face it, Westchester may be the best, but its also the most boring. I don’t have a real job yet but I’m sure I’ll get one eventually. I’m giving myself a little time to just relax and look for one (which may not be all that relaxing) and I’m really looking forward to getting to know a new city.

I keep having to remind myself that fall does not equal Yale. The other night I had this great dream about blunch. It was the first day back in the fall and commons had been turned into a food court but they used those wooden divider things to block the counters from view. A lot of you were in my dream and we were all talking about how weird it was that we were in commons even though we’d graduated.

Sorry if this was boring, but that’s what I’m up to. I miss you guys a lot and please please please come to DC all the time next year so you can see the sweet apartment for yourselves!

Oh-sev <3>