Sunday, January 11, 2009

4:30 a.m. does not come easy

So this week I am in Alabama with a program called Women's Initiative, which sends pairs of girls all over the U.S. to talk with highschool girls about engineering. I am excited about this opportunity, because I think it's important that girls at least know that engineering is an option.

I have a partner who is a sophomore in Mechanical Engineering, and we get along splendidly. Except that she booked our flight for 6am this morning. Yikers. I usually don't go to bed until 2 a.m. on the weekends anyway, and in order to get to the airport I was going to need to leave at 4:30am. 

So I just didn't go to bed.

At three I realized I should probably not leave my dirty dishes in the sink, so I washed all my cups and plates and clattered around for a while. I'm not sure, my roommate may have preferred I leave the dishes.... At four I finished packing and peeked out my window, only to find that there was about five inches of snow on the ground, more falling, and a lovely wind whipping it all to top it off.

So I grumbled to myself, of all the days, now I have to take snowboots, I should be in bed... I decided I didn't want to wear snowboots and lug them all around Alabama, when all I needed was to walk two blocks to the cab stand. So I tromped outside in my regular shoes, and of course four steps into the snow I could feel my socks filling with water. Blast it all. And I couldn't roll my little suitcase in six inches of snow, so I had to carry it to the cab stand.

And as I peered into the snow-laden wind, lugging my suitcase with my squishy shoes, I noticed a figure in front of me. Who in the....? At 4:30 in the morning, some guy in a hoodie with a backpack was walking fifty feet in front of me. As we got closer to the cab stand, I could see there was only one lone taxi waiting. All of a sudden I had the thought - he wants that cab.

So I tried to speed up, but it's slippery in regular shoes, and so I ended up sort of shuffling along the sidewalk, holding my earmufflers with one hand and suitcase in the other. As hoodie guy got closer to the lone cab, I thought I saw him start to turn towards.... but no, it was just the wind pushing him over. He kept on, and I got the cab.

Which is good, I thought, as I reflected in the cab with the snow melting down the front of my shirt. Because I might have decked him with my suitcase.

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