Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cristos the Spartan and The Lost Bathroom

     I fancy myself a Spartan.  I like to think that my ancestors were from that fine lot of disciplined Greeks that descended from Hercules and settled on the Peloponnesian Peninsula.  In truth my people are probably of Welsh descent, but genealogy can only go back so far.  For example, Mark Antony and Cleopatra had children and some were lost to history, and if they survived the wrath of Augustus/Octavian then there would be a Cleopatra/Mark Antony lineage out there somewhere.  Pretty cool, huh?  I have become even more of a History geek than I was before, and History to me is like eating Krispy Kreme donuts...I can't get enough.  Cristos the Spartan has his origins in a paper that I wrote about a year ago, and I tried to include myself and many family members as characters in my Spartan epic.  Cristos is Chris in Greek if you haven't figured that out yet.  Cristos the Spartan has become my alter ego in my collegiate experience.  It's much better than "The Old Bald Guy."  I get that too.  Well this week Cristos had some issues with "The Lost Bathroom," and a Physical Science debacle. SPARTANS!!  Ready your breakfast, and eat hearty, because tonight, We Dine In HELL!!  Not really, but I like saying SPARTANS really loud any chance I get.
     My arrival at The Education building on the campus of the University of Alabama-Birmingham was going according to my fastidious planning, and I began to get a lay of the land.  My home for the most part during my stay in college has been the lovely Heritage Hall, and like many History majors I'm a stickler for things being just like I want them.  Heritage Hall is set up just like I want it to be, and I know where everything is....like the Bathroom.  I am a person who drinks a lot of water.  I mean a whole lot of water, and a side effect of this is going to the facilities quite often.  I always know where a bathroom is at all times, and this is comforting.  I'm a grown man, and when I've got to make water, by golly, I'm gonna make water.  On this day I was in the Education building for my Environmental Science class, and even though I've been attending UAB for a year now I have never been inside this building.  I found the classroom that I will be in, the snack machines, fire exits, comfortable chairs, but no bathroom.  I decided to ask the lady cleaning the glass doors where the restrooms were.  She gave me directions and pointed me on my way.  I attempted to follow her directions to the letter, but let's face it I'm no GPS.  Full of BS maybe, but GPS no.  I walked around and saw plenty of offices that appeared to contain important people, a lot of them had letters behind their names (like my lovely wife.)  I kept walking around what seemed like a maze, or to drop a historical reference, a Labyrinth, and I was afraid I was going to run across a Minotaur like the Athenian hero Theseus.  That's more mythology than history, but I digress.  I walked all the way around this complex maze of offices and doors until I ran directly into...the same lady that was still cleaning the glass doors.  She said, "Come on with me, baby.  I'll show you where it is."  I liked this for three reasons, #1- Southern women have a way with words.  The "baby" or "honey" you get is comforting, especially if you need to find a bathroom, I guess, #2- She was going to show me where the bathroom was, and #3- If she called me "baby" she doesn't think I'm "The Old Bald Guy."  She took me to the location, and said, "There it is, right there."  I thanked her, and she was on her way.  I walked down the hall, and realized that I still did not see a bathroom.  At this point, I thought I was going to lose my mind, and I kept thinking "I know I'm going to run into that nice lady again, and Lord knows what she's going to think this time."  Finally, I found some students sitting on the floor in the hallway waiting to enter a classroom and I asked, "Is there a bathroom right here anywhere or am I losing my mind?"  He answered, "Yes, right there."  I looked and finally I saw the elusive bathroom.  They say the most important factor in Real Estate is Location, Location, Location.  Well, the same can be said for bathrooms.
     I also found out this week that Physical Science still sucks.  It sucked in the 9th grade when Mrs. Fortenberry poured water on my head, and it still sux now.  Only now it appears that Physical Science involves Calculus or something.  Did I mention that I'm a History major.  I have 5 classes remaining before I graduate.  5 classes left.  That's it, just 5.  2 of these classes have to be Sciences with a lab, and I have found a wonderful Environmental Science class that is both fun and not full of Calculus, Trigonometry, fractions, or anything to do with math.  I had a sense of foreboding doom when I ran into the guy who recommended this wonderful Physical Science lab, and called it "Easy", on the way to class the other day.  We talked for a moment, and I told him I took the class he recommended and he said, "That's great, if you know your Pre-Calc you'll be fine."  I said, "I don't know my Pre-Calc, hell I don't know my Pre-Basic Math.  It's been nearly a quarter of a century since I took a math class."  I told my Japanese Professor that too, and I got a blank stare.  I mention that he is Japanese only because he has a very thick accent, and that led to a very comical moment.  He was talking about a formula of some kind and S was a variable that needed to be solved.  When he said S it sounded like another word for your buttocks if you get my drift.  He said, "Is the S, a sphere?  Is the S a circle, or is the S something else."  My S is something else...just kidding.  Well, the long and short of the Physical Science journey is that the Professor passed out a sheet with "Math Refresher Exercises," but it looked like Greek to me.  I thought, "If this is a refresher, then I am in deep trouble.  I'm out of my league in this class."  Come to find out that I was right.  There was a Math Pre-Requisite for this class, and I didn't have it.  However, for some reason I was able to register for the class.  I turned in my blank sheet of Math refresher problems, and added a new class "Europe Reconstructed."  That's more my speed.  Don't get me wrong, if someone taught me how to do these problems or I learned them in some other way, then "It's on!", I got this, but this is kind of like turning a screw without a screwdriver, hammering a nail without a hammer, cutting down a tree without a saw, etc.  I see Earth Science in my future.  If you want a paper on Xerxes then I'm your man, but don't ask me to explain the theory of relativity.  Cristos the Spartan is a History guy, but you knew that already.