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Ner's Random Musings on a life of interesting insights

a world of interesting factoids about nothing and everything


November 12th, 2007

Lj Idol, week 2, The Meeting @ 03:12 pm

Current Mood: accomplished
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The Meeting


I wait, knuckles steepled in mockery of the impending defeat that I might, just might, have to face today.

It's a Monday, and my friend Chris and I have been up all night. We've juggled facts, formulated our arguments, and rehearsed our grievances. What we want is success, and we know that it won't come easy.

I walk outside, and realize that the birds are chirping. This will be my first all-nighter of my college career, and my green tinged mind, green from inexperience as well as envy of those who have so many more opportunities than I, wonders if this will be a first in a series of all-nighters. I taste the copper taste of fear, but I relish it, and for once in my lifetime, my fear drives me. I greet a few early risers good morning, and I salute the stragglers of yet another late night. Then, taking in and savoring the first rays of dawn, I go back to command central.

Pizza boxes litter the room. Coalated, compiled, and coagulated with sweat, staples, and a sense that we must succeed, we collectively heave a sigh of relief. Our ambush of a handout is DONE, finally!

"Twelve pages, eh? You think they'll expect this?" I muse.

"Doubt it," Chris admonishes as he munches on the last of the cold pizza.

I take a sip from the dregs of my last cup of coffee, and continue to wonder. How long have I been here? Yes, three months. And I want to be a chemical engineer. A chemical freakin' engineer. What am I thinking? What if we can't convince these people that we need equal access to materials, instructors, equipment, and God help us, services?

"So do you want me to make the copies, or do you think ..."

"I'll make them. What time's the meeting?" I ask.

"One P.M. Do you realize what this means? Do you realize that if we fail, it could be ... bad ... for like ... a lot of people?" I envision Chris's face grimacing as he states the obvious. We could fail! But we won't, I have to keep telling myself we won't. It's the only way. Failing is not an option.

I don't sleep. I'm going over all of the facts, the arguments, the grievances. I'm restapling, recoalating, rearranging. All we're supposed to do is meet with Campus Access--what a name for such a defunct and inept organization--and we'll try to regulate like no one's regulated before. We'll have notes. We'll have facts. We'll have it all arranged.

I then realize how terrified I am. I realize that I've been terrified throughout my life, not by the usual fears--drowning, fear of a live burial, burning alive--but I'm terrified now because I may not succeed.

One o'clock crawls ever nearer. I make the copies, and their "weight" grows heavier in my hands as the anticipation of the coming meeting mounts. This very meeting could make or break my career, my life; it could staunch other people's careers, other people's goals, dreams, aspirations. My mind is a kaleidoscope of thoughts--what happens if I ... but I always said I could do it ... I'm the first one to try this ... if only we had ... What happens if we ... no we won't fail, failure is NOT an option. No ... freakin ... way!!!

Chris and I meet in the anteroom of the conference area that we will be having this meeting.

"All set?" he asks.

"Yeah, all we have to do is take control here. Show 'em what we're really made of. You scared?"

"Nope, are you?"

"Terrified," I say with trepidation.

They start to file in, and the copper taste in my mouth, long since retreated, reappears like an unhappy memory, but I push it aside. I know it wil be all right. I know that what Chris and I are doing is for everyone. Yeah, it'll help us, but it's so much more than helping ourselves now. Most of all, I know that my primal urge to overcome, to overdo, and to overarch myself to a breaking point is the only reason why I am here today. The fear I feel now is primal, and it's what keeps me succeeding.

As all of the bigwigs--the Chancellor's office people, mine and Chris's department officials, various asundry Campus Access staff, and lastly and most typically, the Campus Access Director--shuffle into their places, tension mounts and relaxes arterially. Everyone's got a handout, even the director, and we know we're ready now. There's no turning back.

"Do any of you guys have a pen," asks a plaintive voice from the back of the room? As we hand a pen to the director of Campus Access, someone who is supposed to be in charge of our destinies as disabled students and know everything about disabilities, we know that we've won. You just have to concede defeat when you have to ask your two prepared blind oponents for a pen and they give you one.


We lick our collective chops and start the meeting. This won't be the first nor the last time I will be terrified of defeat, but this will be the defining moment that I realize that the reason for my success is due solely to my fear of failure and my lavish desire for a fair yet well-fought challenge



Written for therealljidol. I hope you enjoy this titilating terrifying tale. Pen anyone???
 
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From:superhappytime
Date:November 12th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
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I don't think I know a single Chem E who is actually working in the field...not because they couldn't find a job...they just all went to business or law school later.
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From:djner
Date:November 12th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
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I intend to be the first person that you know, at least virtually, who is working in the exciting field of chem e :). Thanks for your comment.

Edited at 2007-11-12 08:21 pm (UTC)
From:vitaoamore
Date:November 12th, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
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coffeeeeeeeeeeeee?!?!?! lol
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From:djner
Date:November 12th, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, coffee, you got a problem with that? :P Remember, I used to be literally addicted to the stuff. If you do a word stat search on my journal, you'll find that it's one of the most widely used words in my journal.
From:anchasta
Date:November 12th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
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Lol...Nice take on it. Tastes like sucking on a penny, doesn't it?
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From:djner
Date:November 12th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
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Yep, pretty much. I think it's some kind of weird response your body has. I don't know, I could go into a chemical description of the process, but you'd probably get bored, haha.
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From:tralfamadore
Date:November 12th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
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Wow, so quickly done and so WELL done! I loved the sense of mounting anticipation that this gave me, and then the cathartic release of nerves at the amusement of the last paragraph. So well composed, and a great take on the topic.

It looks as though you missed closing your bold tag, however. Seems that you wanted to bold the word 'done' in the sentence "Our ambush of a handout is DONE" but everything from that word after got bolded instead.
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From:djner
Date:November 12th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for telling me about it. I fixed the bolding issue, so now those that "score" people on html oding or looks of entry don't get all bent out of shape. Thanks so much again; I have no idea how I wrote this so quickly but anyway. It was fun though.
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From:baxaphobia
Date:November 12th, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)

can relate

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Brings back memories...both good and bad, of my college career! Good job!
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From:djner
Date:November 12th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)

Re: can relate

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Gotta love adversity eh? Glad you liked the entry.
From:tulip_in_yellow
Date:November 12th, 2007 09:39 pm (UTC)
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I've always loved a good fight, no matter how much it makes me shake in my skivvies!

I could feel the anticipation.

I really liked this entry and the subject matter came as a surprise too.
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From:djner
Date:November 12th, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
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It definitely surprised me as I put it down as well. I'm glad you liked it, anticipation is good.
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From:boundfate
Date:November 12th, 2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
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So how did it end? Did you get what you needed?

Always great writing when the audience wants more - awesome job!
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From:djner
Date:November 12th, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
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I thought of putting the conclusion into the story, but then thought it was getting too long. That meeting precipitated the creation of a top notch lab for providing textbooks o blind people, especially science and math. It also provided accessible computers in the general access labs for all. We got this by threatening, and well, putting the living fear into them. Love it! My fear+theirs = results. Yes!
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From:walkertxkitty
Date:November 13th, 2007 12:01 am (UTC)
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As another disabled student, I can appreciate your struggle and the fear you must have felt. I was going to college right after the ADA was implemented and it was too new to be widely enforced. I don't know if the college ever changed its way of dealing with disabled students, but as an epileptic I was the lone crusader. I can only hope that the trials I had to go through made a difference for others to come. At least you know you did well. THanks for sharing!
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From:djner
Date:November 13th, 2007 02:19 am (UTC)
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Thanks for writing back. Yes, sometimes it's difficult to fight, but it's worth it. Every time I go back and walk into their shiny new center nd see what they're doing, yes they still have difficulties, I feel just a bit proud.
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From:lacombe
Date:November 13th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)
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I like this entry even more than last week's. Nicely done, sir!
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From:djner
Date:November 13th, 2007 02:17 am (UTC)
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I liked it better myself. Not sure, I just think I rambled last week. This week, I rambled with a point in mind.
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From:lilmissmagic71
Date:November 13th, 2007 02:38 am (UTC)
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i loved this read...
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From:djner
Date:November 13th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
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Glad you liked it, thanks so much.
From:libra_dragon
Date:November 13th, 2007 02:44 am (UTC)
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Very nice entry.
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From:djner
Date:November 13th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
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Thanks so much. I'm starting to like doing this contest. Looking forward to reading your entry when I get to it.
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From:twystedpixie
Date:November 13th, 2007 06:39 am (UTC)
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When I look around at my fellow graduate students, I am sometimes struck by the fear that I will never measure up. God, I hate that.
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From:djner
Date:November 13th, 2007 12:41 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for your comment. Isn't that the truth about feeling fear that you can not measure up. You think you feel fear now, just wait until you have to measure up to job applicants. That's fear right there. Going out into the real world and making something out of yourself. *shudder*
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From:hopefulnebula
Date:November 13th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
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*hands you a pen*

Defeat really is awful. Glad you succeeded then.
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From:djner
Date:November 13th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the pen, I'll make sure it's handy for anyone who might need it later. Thanks for you comment and kind words.
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From:n_decisive
Date:November 13th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)
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One of the things that I like about your writing is that you punctuate your experiences with access rather than saturating your story with them. It is my belief that our disabilities are an inherent part of who we are, but we should not let them define us. That's up to us to do, and I think you're doing a fantastic job of defining yourself as a man of character.
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From:djner
Date:November 13th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
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Couldn't agree with you more.

If I could do it, I would discard all of my "disability" issues in my writing, but because they have done so much to make me who I am, I'm forced to talk about them.

I don't get along with blind or disabled people who let blindness define everything that they do.

I even chose chemical engineering because computer science would be something that lots of blind people would want to do. I don't hate my blindness, it's just part of me, which maes it difficult to remove completely from my writings, but ... ah here's a good way to put it ... I look at my disabbility much like I look at my religion. My religion is my life, and I live it every day. My disabilities are my life, I live them every day. But I don't wear either on my sleeve like so many seem to like to do.

Thank you so much for you kind words. Keep up those awesome entries will ya?
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From:porcelain72
Date:November 13th, 2007 10:55 pm (UTC)
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The build up to this was great. I don't even know you and I was feeling nervous about it! :o)
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From:djner
Date:November 14th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
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Glad you liked it. I probably dramatacized it more than I actually was back then, but the whole thing was quite exciting when it all happened. I don't think there was such a build-up in real life though, but it was a long time ago, so I thought I could use artistic license on that one :).

Ner's Random Musings on a life of interesting insights

a world of interesting factoids about nothing and everything