Socks and Underwear

Socks and Underwear: May 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ping Pong Coach

There was an excruciatingly long school meeting yesterday. There are always just so many things wrong with how the meeting are run. It is obvious that it is not just me who finds these meeting to be lacking, everyone seems to star off into space but that is not the point of this post. During an overview the principal was giving of a recent workshop, she mentioned the requirement for the school to get a table tennis...table (got to be a better way to say that) by the end of the month. I was drafted to eventually be in charge since I am the only one who knows what it is. I love ping pong (there it is) and would think it could be a lot of fun and a good way to give incentive for being a good student but there is simply no room for it. The school is already overflowing into a shanty classroom. They might as well buy a jet ski if they are wasting money buying things the school cannot use or support. The school has already purchased a sizable flat screen t.v. and speakers system that is currently locked away because there doesn't seem to be any place to put it. Keeping it in a class would definitely require a teacher to be in there at all times (gasp!) and the admin block is packed to the gills already, not to mention the logistical nightmare of shuffling classes around so that everyone would get a chance to use it. I am going to propose that our order form for the table should read:

Ping Pong Table - 1 - Green
Ping Pong Balls - 100 - Assorted
Building - 1 XL - Brick
Ping Pong Paddles - 6 - Wooden/rubber padded

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mefliam?!...More Like MefliSHAM!

The area in South Africa where the half marathon was held a few weeks ago, as well as my subsequent backpacking trip, was in a malaria region. Accordingly, I was outfitted with the proper medication to keep me safe. Well I suppose I should say "free from malaria" since the possible side effects are extremely threatening. The warnings run the full gamut from hair loss to convulsions with the long time favorites loose stool and nausea also making an appearance. The most intriguing, possibly frightening, side effect though is its potential brand upon the brain. The infamous warning label reads:

"Mefloquine may cause psychiatric symptoms in some patients ranging from anxiety, paranoia and depression to more serious hallucinations and psychotic behavior."

Now that's what I'm taking about! I want my malaria prophylaxis to have some oomph as well as a possible element of mental damage!

While the majority Of people do not experience these symptoms (I would think), I had heard anecdotally that most people do have abnormal dreams. This is what really piqued my curiosity in the medication. Unfortunately, I do not normally remember my dreams and I was hoping that some vivid nightmares or even a powerful night terror might have a little more staying power.

Well, today was my last dose of the drug and all I experienced was its chalky taste. At least I'm pretty sure I'm no more psychotic than my normal level but I can't be sure. I know I have said to myself "am I going insane or did that really just happen" before because such instances are common in my village. Now that I may actually be taking crazy pills my baseline to judge my day to day experience is unreliable. Most importantly, there haven't been any dreams to speak of. Ultimately, I am disappointed in the drug. Sure it may have shielded me from malaria but these were my dreams at stake. My sweet, sweet, terrifying dreams.