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Sails Pitch

Mozambique Channel / Indian Ocean - Februrary 22, 2008


Yesterday I was giddly joking about my disappointment that we haven´t encountered any rough seas. Earlier in the voyage, just past Shanghai, we did have a day or two of rolling swells. There were even a few nights where we were warned to put our computers on the floor before bedtime to prevent damage from them crashing to the floor. Books fell off the shelves in the library and a few dressers tipped over. But I was fine during all of that.

Today is another story. Items aren´t crashing around so much as our innards are. During that earlier time that I mentioned, the ship was rocking from side to side, which was one thing. Now it´s actually lifting and dropping as well as rolling from side to side. Since 2:30 am – when I woke up slightly nauseated and panicked about it – the ship has been listing and pitching. And so has been my stomach, and my brain feels like jello being tossed around inside a gourd.

When I awoke just a couple hours past midnight, I wasn´t sure why I was waking. For weeks now I´ve been waking every two hours because the coils in my mattress dig into my ribs. Then I had the brilliant idea of sleeping on top of my duvet cover instead of underneath it, and whala! I´ve now been sleeping about four hours at a time. So to awake at 2:30 without feeling like my bedsprings were attacking me like a corkscrew going after a vintage wine was a disappointment. Realizing a few seconds later that my stomach felt “icky” was further disappointment. But there was a small glimmer of hope – I had a melody in my head, at the same beats per minutes as the rhythm of horizonal rain that sprayed the ship as if fired from an automatic weapon.

I tried to place it because concentrating on that was better than acknowledging that I was experiencing my first true sea sickness. Turns out the melody is that of a subliminal “positive thinking / relaxation” tape I have used from time to time in the past year. I was tickled that subconsciously I was trying to do the right thing by myself. From that, I conjectured that it might be best to try concentrating on my breathing and breathing from the lower dantien as in yoga and qigong meditation. Doing so helped immensely, and I was able to go back to sleep.

11 hours later, I am in the LRC. I´ve sent two student workers back to their cabins because they were too sick to work. I´ve been asked for numerous barf bags – of which we have plenty – and I hope I don´t end up using one myself. I was a good Samaritan and lent one set of my acupuncture bands to a student a few ports ago. She never gave them back. Today I was going to ask her for them, but she entered the LRC wearing them and thanked me profusely for them. I hadn't meant them as a permanent gift. I decided to take the loss as an intercultural miscommunication. I have one other one, but I can´t remember to whom I loaned it last. But good deeds do get recognized.

K. saw me taking a brief lay down in the lobby when I suddenly felt like I might chuck up the three chocolate biscotti I had for lunch since, the rest of the meal (some nasty little lamb stew that tasted like Alpo puppy chow, “seafood” pasta tasted and smelled fishier than a rotting Carp; cauliflower that tasted like … cauliflower; and steak fries that were crispy on the outside and completely uncooked on the inside) was grossly unedible. She took pity on me for having given her some of my medicinals during the Norovirus outbreak and was kind enough to dispense some sort of homeopathic remedy that dissolved under my tongue like cotton candy, leaving me with a smile.

Meanwhile, one student told me that her professor was passing vomit bags out along with the mid-term – one per student. Several have asked me how bad it has to get before classes are cancelled, and I smiled to remember the mounds and mounds of Michigan snow that suggested cancellation to students, while the superintendents and school boards seemed not to notice.

I´m pretty sure they won´t cancel classes, nor do I think they should, though I´d love an excuse not to conduct my research workshops during the next three days. I vastly prefer doing one-on-one sessions, partly because what will happen is that the 18 students who sign up will be really eager but they´ll forget. And at least half of them will need to have one-on-one sessions not long after the group workshop. If there´s anything that gets under my skin, it´s having to repeat myself. This is why I´m not a teacher.

At least, it´s a nice advert if I do say so myself. I failed to surprise myself in that I had more fun writing and designing the flyers than I will in actually conducting the workshops. Info design, y'all.

Broaden your knowledge of resources and research strategies by attending a
 Discover what makes a scholarly article different from a popular article and how to find scholarly articles in Ebsco and JSTOR.
 Search the web more effectively and know how to evaluate critically the sources you find online.
 Decide when the web might provide the best sources for information and when it would be better to use a database, journal, or book.

Each half hour workshop (the sessions are identical) is limited to 6 students. Sign up TODAY in the LRC. Attendance will be taken, so professors can be notified.

For those unable to attend, please make an appointment for a personal research consultation with a librarian by filling out a Research Request Form in the LRC.

23 February (No Class Day) – 13:00-13:30
24 February (Blue Day) – 13:00-13:30
25 February (Green Day) – 12:00-12:30

Oughta be loads of fun, but I´ve gotta earn my keep some way. Besides, the day after the last one session, I get to see my Pops. Yebo!

Posted by mpho3 04:32

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