Friday, April 18, 2008

Walk about Zion

Dr. Jones, a professor of mine, and I have a game. I tell him the text of a psalm and he tells me how long it took me to get to school that day. It's not as mystical as it sounds. The way it got started is this: when I arrive at school on my bike I'm all sweaty, so naturally I stop at the gym to shower. I often see Dr. Jones just before or just after his tennis or racquetball game. One day I commented that I had set a new record for myself: when I arrived at school my stopwatch read 55:22, Fifty five minutes and twenty two seconds. Dr. Jones said that he thought Psalm 55 verse 22 was a well known one, which it is:

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

From then on, I started looking up the psalm verse corresponding to the time on my stop watch when I arrived at school. I would send the text, via email, to Dr. Jones and he would email back telling me what the reading on my stopwatch was. Of course I didn't do this every day. Many days I didn't notice the reading or didn't have time to look up the scripture. Most psalms don't have 60 verses, so there often wasn't any corresponding psalm.

Yesterday's psalm was:

They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.

But when I went to look it up I accidentally got this one:

Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.

I didn't actually get around to sending it to Dr. Jones, but I had it on my mind all day. When I read it to my officemate, Ryan, he commented that it sounded like someone giving you directions, which turned out to be very appropriate for yesterday. Here's why:

Yesterday I turned my thesis in (!) I hadn't imagined that it would be such a long and convoluted process:
First print the thesis on special paper, making sure that you have the correct margins, formatting for your page numbers, etc.  Go the the Cashiers Office on the first floor of the Administration Building to pay your binding fees.  Bring the thesis, with two originals of the title page, each signed by the committee, five copies of the signed title page, various surveys, several forms forfeiting various rights and the receipt from the Cashier's Office to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies on the third floor of the Administration Building, where they rearrange all of the forms in a different order than what they told you to put them in.  They also stamp, sign and write on several of the forms and (most importantly) sign the receipt from the Cashier.  Then they give you directions for what to do next.  The directions are printed out, but not on a piece of paper, on a sticker the size of a half sheet of paper.  I wondered if I was supposed to peel the sticker off of its backing and slap it on my chest like they used to do when they sent important papers home from kindergarten.  The directions tell you to take the two copies of the thesis and your forms and the receipt from the Cashier to the Research Center on the first floor of the library.  They check things over, keep your thesis, stamp various things and (most importantly) sign the receipt from the Cashier's Office.  Next you go back to the first floor of the Administration Building to turn in your signed original Approval of Candidacy Form to the Registrar's Office and (again, most importantly) have them sign your receipt from the Cashier.  By the time I got back to the first floor of the Administration Building, I was in such a daze from all of the forms and different offices that I walked into the Cashier's Office instead of the Registrar's.  I looked at the row of tellers waiting anxiously to serve someone and stopped dead in my tracks.  I stared blankly at them for awhile, pondering whether I was in the right place.  One lady said "Can I help you, sir?"  More blank staring from me.  Was this the part where I was supposed to tell the towers thereof?  I wished I had stuck the directions on my chest so that the lady would have been able to tell me what I was supposed to do.  Finally, it dawned on me what was wrong.  "Sorry," I said, "I'm in the wrong place."  I dashed out before the lady could say anything more, crossed the hall to the registrar's office and soon was done with the whole ordeal.

I guess all that's left now is Commencement itself!


Arlynda said...

Well, at least you didn't have to turn in your thesis to the cashiers! They might have taken out all that Lie Algebra Stuff and you wouldn't have been able to graduate. (It's an inside joke about the cashiers office at our alma mater taking out some unusual but necessary papers from my graduation papers, when they shouldn't have been doing anything with my papers, but passing them along to the recorder's office.)

Sunnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sunnie said...

Football? Football? What's a football? With unconscious will my voice squeaked out "football."

Congrats on being finished Jamie!


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