This Week's Bane
The Strangest Thing that's Happened to Me on Campus
by, 02-13-2012 at 02:52 PM (129 Views)
I graduated from and now work for the University of California, Davis. (Yes... this is the same University where all those peacefully protesting students got pepper-sprayed. No, I wasn't in the crowd, but I was walking by and heard the shouting.)
Anyway, today, I had a friend ask me what the strangest thing that ever happened to me on campus was. Well, actually, I was imagining a hypothetical conversation in which a friend asked me what the strangest thing that had ever happened to me on campus was. (Ain't nothing but an INFJ thang.) But that's not important because, regardless of whether I was actually asked, I'm going to tell you about it anyway.
First, something to note about UC Davis: It is, as I imagine most major University campuses are, closed off really well to outside vehicular traffic. If you want to get around the campus, you either walk or bike (Davis is the cycling capital of the US), because there's no way to get your car into the central campus.
That in mind, the strangest thing that ever happened to me while I was on campus occurred when I was a freshman. There are two dorm complexes on campus: Segundo and Tercero. (What happened to Primero? It's an on-campus apartment complex. Yeah, don't ask me, I don't know, man.) I lived in Tercero, which is down in the southwestern corner of the central campus.
I always have, and still do, after a short hiatus, lift weights regularly, and our gym, the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), is up in the northwestern corner of campus. There's a bike and walking path that cuts straight north from Tercero up to the ARC, and I would walk it three times a week like clockwork to get to the gym for my workout. (This particular bike path is also possessed by wind-elemental hell demons, or else was a cruel joke of some brilliant architect, because no matter which way you're heading, you're going into a powerful headwind. But that's not relevant to my story.)
One day, I was walking up to the gym when I heard a woman's voice, next to me. She asked, "Excuse me, young man?"
I looked over, and, leaning across the passenger seat of a massive SUV and speaking to me through the rolled-down window, was a middle-aged, soccer-mom type woman. My face must have done something really spectacular at this point, because I was so completely shocked that I couldn't even respond.
"Excuse me, I'm a bit lost." Yes, thank you for the exposition. "Could you tell me where the baseball field is?"
I have no idea whether UC Davis even has a proper baseball diamond, but I've seen baseball players practicing on the field next to the path, so I point it out over my shoulder.
"I think it's there. Um, do you realize that you're driving..." Her face tells me that, yes, she realizes.
Fortunately, there was a campus employee walking ahead of me on the path, and she turned around and came back to point the woman in the right direction. I proceeded on to the ARC and had my workout in a bit of a daze.
When I got home, I poured myself a stiff drink, and asked myself: How many dimensions must she have been lost in to wind up driving on the bike path? It can't have been just four; it must have taken at least five or six. Bear in mind that there is no sane, logical way that the driver of any vehicle could wind up on central campus on a bike path: like I said, it's completely sealed to outside traffic. Maybe she ramped her SUV over the barrier of the adjacent parking structure? No, classical physics tells me that's not possible...
Oh, well. When the time-travelling alien overlords arrive, and ask me, "Where were you when general relativity was disproven?" I'm going to have a damn good answer for them.
This week's bane: Bioinformatics. Is. So. Dull.