Thursday, February 2, 2012

Kiva Han Countdown: 21, 20, 19, 18, 17 days (catching up)

I've let my writing routine slack lately. Bah. But here's the scoop. There's barely more than two weeks left in KH's existence. Here's what I've been up to the last few days.

On Sunday, I came in after improv practice on campus for a late lunch/early dinner. I stopped at the public library on my way over, and then bumped into my friend on the way in here. It was so crowded there weren't even any tables to sit at! I totally forgot it was Sunday and missed brunch earlier that day, despite my vow last week to go to brunch more often, and it was absolutely packed around 5:30ish. I ended up sitting in one of the comfy, red-cushioned chairs upstairs by the fan. It was the only truly open seat around. My friend got a coffee to go. I sat there and had a cappuccino and muffin, and was forced to overhear a conversation between two older gentlemen who I presume were professors or teachers of some kind. One of them was lamenting to the other about an algebra student of his who "just couldn't get it". Adding 5x to 2 doesn't give you "7 something", as he pointed out. He said it was like "water pouring through a bucket with a hole in it". Ugh. I can't stand hearing stories like this. If someone "doesn't get it", that just means they're not seeing it the way you are explaining it, and you need another approach. Demonstrate it visually. I've got 5 baskets of apples, and 2 leftover. How many total apples? Well, it depends on how many are in each basket. There is always a way to teach someone, if you're patient and inventive enough. To give up and say that you're just pouring water through a hole … that's a shitty attitude, man.

I was frantically working on slides for an upcoming presentation on Monday, so I came by for dinner and sat there for a couple hours working, head down in my laptop. I suppose I'm usually like that here, but this time I was actually focused on something so intently that I hardly looked up from it. It's nice to know that one can do that here. It's easy to get distracted—people watching, the music playing, etc.—but if you have to, you can tune everything out and work.

I was here a long time on Tuesday, still working on that presentation. I got here in the late afternoon, ate some food, and worked worked worked. Some friends showed up later, and then I went off to campus for an IM squash match. I got my ass handed to me (I'm blaming it on my timing and strategy, which are still tuned to racquetball and haven't adjusted) and came back to find my friends still here. I got an iced coffee and stuck around right until closing time.

Yesterday, I was only inside KH briefly on my way to campus. I stayed at home all day alternately working/sleeping, and got an iced coffee on my way to give that presentation I'd been working on. It has been unseasonably warm the last few days, amiright? Spring seems to be coming a little early, which I'm generally fine with, but it doesn't seem like we got a true winter this year. It was never quite in full effect, occasionally throwing a t-shirt day in amongst some snow.

After that presentation yesterday, I went down to the Pitt campus and did a segment on WPTS radio for Draw Us Lines. It was pretty fun, although it'll take some getting used to the on-air logistics, remembering things you can't say (apparently "free" is the "other F word"), and getting comfortable hearing my own voice in headphones. On the way back from there, I was walking on Forbes and had to pass right by/through a march by "Occupy Oakland". They were walking right by KH corner as I was, and when the walk signal at the intersection came on, I diagonalized and was nearly run over by them. Not really, but I wasn't about to stand there and let 100 people walk by and miss my chance to cross the street, ya know? I honestly couldn't tell what they were chanting, or what their message was, but they seemed to be having a lot of fun. Rather than being angry at the source of their protest, they were just kinda smiling and enjoying being out in the middle of the road, yelling and walking. Kinda odd, right? And yeah, they just kept marching down the road, into traffic on Forbes, as I ducked into PHI bar and a couple of cops looked on from both sides of the street. Weird.

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