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Last day of freedom - Catherine Fischer — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Catherine Fischer

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Last day of freedom [Sep. 1st, 2002|08:30 pm]
Catherine Fischer
Sunday, the last day before school starts. Woke up early again today; some dream startled me out of sleep, and I couldn't go back. Felt somewhat better than I did yesterday, though my eyes were still raw and gritty. Got up and dealt with the influx of emails from supportive friends and family -- a wonderful collection of stories, poetry, kindness. Registered for class at noon; because I already had a photo ID, the process was quick and painless (I was the first out of the building). Especially quick because I didn't have a financial aid check to pick up; the new head of the financial aid department in New York lost my paperwork. Not impressed with her abilities so far, I must say.

At lunchtime, Brian came down to work on the air conditioning unit in my living room; it has been leaking rather a lot of water onto the electrical outlet at the back of the fridge, and has already warped the baseboard. It also kept freezing over, which made it not very effective. After he used a hacksaw to break through some rust occlusions in the back, it started draining outside again, and worked much better after that (when I got back to my apartment this afternoon, it was COLD).

Didn't feel so good after I ate lunch, so I went to lie down for a little bit, and ended up taking a two hour nap. Woke up feeling foolish; I'd wasted the entire afternoon of my last day of freedom! Not to be cheated out of some sort of excursion, I threw on my wetsuit skin (like a bathing suit, but better coverage, so I don't have to worry about fire corals, jellyfish, or sunburn), grabbed my snorkeling gear and headed for shipwreck bay -- after I called a classmate of mine who had just emailed me about her return. Melissa met me down there after I'd snorkeled an hour and collected some truly exquisite shells. (I found two perfect conch shells, creamy pink, and several perfect spiral shells. Also some elaborate turbinate snail shells, and some translucent, beautifully-patterned bivalve shells.) I bought her a fruit punch (no rum punch for me, alas; school is starting), and we discussed St. Kitts, the Ross community, the last semester class vs. this semester's class (50-odd students vs. 115), life back home in the States, miscellaneous other stuff. She told me about a new prospective student who, upon hearing a noise outside her apartment last week, went to investigate and was tied up and raped by two men -- she flew immediately to the rape crisis center back home (do not pass go, do not collect $200); had her boyfriend pick up her stuff and ship it back for her. Made me pretty uncomfortable to hear. I feel less ridiculous now for always keeping my door locked (even though my neighborhood is, by and large, a safer one), and avoiding uncrowded places (which is against my nature -- back home, the crowded places are where your stuff gets stolen and you get accosted). We watched mongoose snuffle around in the parking lot, talking until the dusk had bled away, then went to our respective homes. It was good to see a familiar face again. Melissa has been the best at keeping me posted about Ross events and island life, in my absence.

Got home and showered; very salty and sandy. Washed off the shells I found and brought one to Leonie, who invited me up. Brian was kind enough to offer to help me pick up my shipment of stuff from the airport tomorrow; he'll be meeting me there. (I was really wondering how I was going to fit that big box in my very small car.) Had a discussion about whether the tropic of Cancer or the tropic of Capricorn was the one north of the equator; none of us could remember, so Brian dragged out his atlas. (It's the tropic of Cancer, by the way.) Leonie showed me how big the sprouts were from the canteloupe seeds I gave her -- hurray! We'll have plenty of canteloupe to go 'round, it looks like. I also brought her a few of the jumbie beads I had drilled for her, so she can make jewelry with them. (Which reminds me: she had asked for some undrilled, to put beside her bed -- I'd better go run those up.)

Yikes! When I went outside to deliver the beads, I realized I had left my porch light on; there were bunches of little black beetles -- dead -- all over my porch! Must be careful not to leave that light on whenever it can be helped.

Well, off to bed; big day tomorrow (primarily orientation, but I have gross anatomy in the afternoon, and Dr. Hutchison doesn't pull any punches). G'night.