Weirded Out

Last night was an odd night at work. It was quite busy, for one thing; we took about 330 calls from 19:00 to 22:00, so there was very little downtime for doing our homework. At any rate, my final call came in around 21:35, and as soon as I heard the voice on the line, I felt as though I had been punched in the gut. The voice was a slightly younger version of an old friend’s, one for whom I’ve nursed something more complicated than a crush for four years. Eerie. The guy needed help with geometry, and the call took about 20 minutes, definitely my longest call of the night. The types of questions he asked, the way he asked them, speech patterns, all reminiscent of the old buddy. After I got off the phone, the girl sitting next to me, a neighbor and one of the folks at the Negroid Party, looked at me like I was crazy, wondering why my hands were shaking. I had to stop myself from asking the guy if he was originally from Indiana, or if he had family with the last name of such-and-such, but that would have been way unprofessional and would have gotten me fired. But now I’m thinking about the old friend again, and I didn’t want to.

In addition to being reminded of old quasi-rejections (or implicit rejections), I was formally rejected from giving blood today, again on the basis on hemocrit values. I’m already taking iron pills, so that leaves beefing up the Vitamin C.

Tonight was also a dinner for women in Computer Science and Computer Engineering to discuss ways in which more women can be brought into the fold at various levels of education. I happen to think that the majority of the niche-settling happens in the first year of high school, and that middle school would be a great time to pimp computer fields and jobs to girls, as that seems to be where the split begins. In elementary school, the ratio is about 50/50 for girls’ and guys’ interest in computers. This seems to end with the advent of puberty (not that that’s a cause or anything). The ratio at Rose of girls to guys in Computer Science is lower than the school-wide ratio of girls to guys; out of 212 CS folks, 13 are girls (I am absolutely certain this statistic is correct now, as I heard it from the Head of the Dept. of CS and Software Engineering). About 18-20% of the folks at Rose are girls. So we had the Computer Science Department Chair from DePauw University, who’s active in ACM-W, chat with us a bit about things being done at DePauw that have helped the department’s numbers. It was a fascinating talk, and it was great to finally meet almost all of the oddballs in Computer Science and Software Engineers. I mean, sure, everyone in one of those majors is probably an oddball, but who can beat chick programmers and circuit designers, right? Right. (Note the reinforcement of the idea that all CS majors will become programmers and all Computer Engineers will design circuits, an issue that came up tonight, as a matter of fact.)

Back to studying for my first two major tests. Grr on Logic Design, by the way.

[Listening to: The Package – A Perfect Circle – Thirteenth Step (07:40)]