Monday, November 21, 2011

The Plight of the Peace Lily

You may remember me posting about a peace lily at the beginning of the summer; the one that was dying. The one I foolishly thought I could save. I was young, naive even; let me bring you up to speed.

When we last left off in the story of the internship lily I had it pretty well under control, at about the beginning of the school year though, things started going down hill.

As those of you who read my blog may know, in my time at my internship I have moved around a lot. From my little desk, to the regional managers desk, to a cubicle, and finally to my current work area which is a counter sort of space by the windows on the back of my building. The lily has come with me through it all, however, when I was in my cubicle I had to set it on the ledge of Jake’s in order for it to get sunlight.

I came into the office one day, soon after classes had begun, and the frosted glass had been put on the tops of the new cubicles (see photo) so my lily had been put on the counter behind Jake’s cubicle (the same counter I now reside at). In just a few short weeks I was also moved to this space.

I put the lily next to me and continued to water it but something was wrong, it didn’t seem happy, watering it no longer made it perk up, neither did its plant food, I was at a loss.

I decided my best plan was to re-pot it so I took it home, went to Lowes, bought potting soil and a bigger pot (one with holes in the bottom), put a layer of rocks in the bottom, put dirt in, put the plant in, and covered it with more dirt. I watered it and it perked up. I was thrilled!

I then proceeded to forget to take the plant back to the office for about a month and a half, it was fine at my house though. In hindsight, it might have fared better if I had just left it at my house, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I finally remembered to bring the lily back and I put it on my desk next to my computer. As I was back by the windows now, I thought it would be fine there. It was not fine there.

Over the past few months, I have watered and cared for it as best I can, but it still insists on dying. If you look at the photo you can see it dies in little spots, slowly…slowly….slowly……

Last week I had a thought that maybe it was getting too cold back here so I moved it up to the front desk where it would be warmer. I pruned off the dead parts this morning and I’m hoping they won’t come back. I will continue to water it despite it’s lack of a will to live.

I decided to stay on at my current internship next semester but now I’m a little worried, I may have to resign gracefully before the lily totally dies and I get fired. As of now I’m keeping the dream alive that the lily will get out of its funk though.

Pray for us.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Databases are Evil

Mua-ha-ha-ha Butler databases! I have rendered you unnecessary! I have gone around your roadblocks! I have beaten you and your sadistic ways!

Back-story time…

I’m writing a paper for my econ class about how the Massachusetts health reform effected / is still effecting safety net health care providers. I needed to find a reference that was listed in an article I read so I took to the Butler databases.

Honestly, I’m not even sure why I bothered. In the four years I have been here I don’t think I’ve managed to make them do my bidding even once. But I digress; I went looking and found the article on a database. It would only allow me to see the first 150 words though. I tried expanding the text but it wanted a username, I tried my butler username and it wanted me to activate it, I tried to activate it and it asked me for information I simply don’t have.

Not one to be daunted I called the office of the library people who help with the databases. I got their voicemail.

I called the library and spent a few minuets explaining my situation to the front desk person. She put me on hold in order to go ask her supervisor. She transferred my call without telling me. I got the database people’s voicemail again. I severed all potential ties with the library desk girl.

Then I went to campus; I assumed using a campus computer would solve my problem. It didn’t. I asked one of the library workers. We fought gallantly with the databases, swords, control codes, and hand grenades were involved; we could not make it yield.

Then we had a stroke of brilliance! Aided by the dewey decimal system we located the article in a book entitled Archives of Internal Medicine Vol. 169.

That’s right! I found my information in a book! Take that 21st century technology! You just had your ass handed to you by a printing press.