Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting My Troubles Beind Me

Disclaimer: the following post may contain topics that are unappealing to those of a squeamish or overly proper attitude.

One of the problems with getting older is that things wear out. While I'm still relatively young, I've had a few irritating problems lately. One of them that's developed over the loast couple of years is a pretty nasty case of hemorrhoids (basically varicose veins in the butt). After all, I have a job where I sit down a lot. And while cycling doesn't cause them, it can aggravate existing ones.

So, last Friday, I went in for outpatient surgery. Of course, that meant that on Thursday I had to uses something like this to get all "cleaned out". For a far-too-detailed description of the "prep" process, check out Dave Barry's post here (while you're there, if you haven;t yet had a colonoscopy and you're due for one, get to it).

The actual surgery (early Friday afternoon) went fine - they gave some high quality drugs that completely knocked me out, and a shot that lasted until the late evening to numb things "down there". On the way home, we stopped at the drug store for some heavy-duty pain meds (Percocet), dropped me off at home, and then went out to pick up the kids.

Then the fun began. I spiked a fever (101.5) and by about 8:00, I was just about in the most pain of my entire life (and I've broken several bones, torn rotator cuffs, had multiple surgeries, etc...). Even on the max dose of Percocet, I thought I was going to (as my kids would say) "Start crying like a little girl".

Luckily, it didn't last long - by Saturday morning, I upgraded to as uncomfortable as hell, which was livable. And by today, I'm actually sitting up (albeit with an inflatable donut).

The only bright side is that I get to miss our all-day faculty retreat, since I can't sit for any amount of time. There's some irony there.

Hemorrhoid surgery 0r all-day faculty planning meeting? Let me think...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What Does The Class of 2014 Know?

When I was an undergrad (yeah, I know - a long time ago), I would often roll my eyes when a professor made a cultural reference that was about 30 years before my time. Now I increasingly find myself in the clueless professor's shoes. It's not surprising, since I've lived almost 3x as long as incoming freshmen.

Every year, Beloit College publishes a "mindset" list for the incoming freshman class. It lists some of the "cultural touchstones" are a part of the class's lives (who were mostly born in 1992). Here are some of the items on this year's list that stood out:

4. Al Gore has always been animated.
12. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.
27. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.
53. J.R. Ewing has always been dead and gone. Hasn't he?
64. Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.
Read the whole thing here - interesting stuff, and it'll make some of you shake your heads at how the world has changed in such a short time.