Tall, Dark, and Mysterious

8/2/2004

Sick, sick, sick

File under: Sound And Fury, This One Time, At Mathcamp, Know Thyself. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 4:23 pm.

One of the unforseen consequences of the policy that holds us responsible for administering our campers’ medication: every single one of our ill campers gets filtered through the office, which has turned that locale into something of a doctor’s examining room, but without the benefit of surgical masks for its employees. I’m sure this isn’t the only reason that that the Plague Currently Known as the Camp Sickness has afflicted a good half of us so far, but it’s not helping that we require, say, every camper with a mild cough to enter the office, cough all over us, swallow some cough syrup, hand his infected spoon over to us to clean, and then depart.

The worst affected, it seems, is me, and I swear to God if this continues one more day, I’m going to become one of those people who laments, at length, the grave injustice that we can do [take your pick] but we still don’t have a cure for the common cold. I’d be taking this assault on my immune system in stride, were it not for the fact that it’s been going on TEN DAYS as of this writing, ten days that have left me variously exhausted, congested, and hoarse, all during a week where the temperature’s been in the high twenties, thirties with the humidity factor, and Seventh Circle of Hell with the I-feel-like-crap factor. Before anyone tells me that low thirties isn’t hot, you don’t know hot, where I live it’s REALLY hot, keep in mind that I’m a wimpy Canadian who left Ontario for Vancouver, in part because I cannot handle Ontario summers. Frigid winters are fine - bundle me up in a few snowsuits and I’m good to go - but in the heat one can only get so naked, and past a certain point it’s illegal, and not worth it either, because it’s still hot.

Compounding this is the fact that my dorm room seems to have been designed by some master sadist who aims to keep sick people sick. One of my less convenient idiosyncracies is that I, without fail, wake up as soon as my room becomes light, and not a moment later, and in an south-facing room in which the entire south wall is a window, this means I’m up by 5:30 am every single goddamned day. Which means that I have to be in bed before 9:00 if there’s any possibility whatsoever that I’ll get the eight hours of sleep I so desperately require if I’m ever going to shake this thing. It doesn’t help that I have a bed whose design conforms to the twin theories that 1) everyone enjoys sleeping on plastic mattresses - EVERYONE; and that 2) you never want to sit up in bed, and just in case you ever forget that you never want to sit up in bed, we’ll make your pillow fall right out off of your bed if you ever try to prop it up, and we’ll sometimes even make it fall right out if you so much as shift around lengthwise while you’re sleeping. And as though this weren’t enough, my room temperature is automatically set to “bake”, so that even when the temperature outdoors is somewhat bearable, the temperature in my room is not - though the addition of a small fan keeps this issue under control, somewhat.

I was going to write about how well the other day’s Calculus Without Calculus class went, but when your body seems to be laying waste to certain hypotheses such as There’s Only So Much Mucus You Can Produce and You Can’t Possibly Be Tired After Resting For Ten Straight Hours, it’s hard to focus on much else. In the meantime, I’ve missed four field trips so far, including two hikes, and I’m feeling right useless the rest of the time.

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