Feb 22, 2008
Posted in: Miscellaneous
When it comes to immune systems, I'm the most arrogant person you'll ever meet.
No, seriously, if you ever tell me you're coughing, or your nose is running, or your leg's going to fall off, don't expect any sympathy. I'll probably just be a jerk and say something like "I never get colds" or "the last time I was sick was 1918" or "MY leg would never fall off because my immune system is better than yours."
Can you see where this is going?
Pride goeth before the fall.
Last week, I...I...I have a lot trouble admitting it. Even after several days of waking up with razorblades in my throat (that's how it felt, anyway), constantly having to blow my nose and general unattractiveness, I still insisted to my rather skeptical hallmates that I don't get "sick."
Then I dragged my sorry ego over to MIT Medical, where they tested me for strep (negative. First test ever I willingly failed =P) and told me to sleep "a lot" and come back if it gets any "worse."
So I guess I'm not used to being in this condition, because I really felt at that point that the only way to get worse would be to get better because there wasn't any possible way I could feel MORE sick. I went to the doctor willingly, which is a rare thing for me, because I was seriously concerned about my LIFE (aka getting psets done)...and he tells me to sleep "a lot." Which I did, over the three day weekend, but today during class I was still concerned I would infect my arabic partner. I'm sure they weren't too pleased to be placed with me. Oh well. It'snot like I have a choice (wow, that was the worst joke ever. I should be fired...).
So it turns out I'm not the only one suffering. It seems like everyone has what I have, or more likely the other way around....Today when meeting my group for my **CI-H class, one girl showed up without a voice! (Come on, how unprepared can you get?) It turns out that three of us missed the class last week because we were all THAT sick. And one of the dean's from S^3 went home sick today, and today another girl in my arabic class walked in with asthmatic pneumonia after missing over a weeks worth of lectures! This is pretty bad, guys. They should just shut down the world a couple days and let everyone recover.
Incidentally, yesterday I saw these two posters on the wall of a bathroom:
(And then a girl walked in, and I left really fast, because I probably looked like a weirdo taking a picture of a poster on a bathroom wall, which is exactly what I was.)
But it got me thinking. How did I get...you know...get..si-...si-...ACHOO (oh, sorry, I sneezed, but I said the word. Really.)....anyway? It must take a lot to knock out an immune system like this.
And then it all came together, like that moment in a Hollywood movie when the main character has an epiphany with mini-flashbacks as if the audience isn't smart enough to figure it out. Keyboards, petri dishes, epidemic, poor ventilation...
I never used to spend time in Athena clusters before this semester because Senior House's printer, Pulp-fiction (Yeah, we name our printers at MIT), actually used to work. But it's been broken for awhile, and now, in the midst of flu season, I've been going to Athena clusters pretty often to print off...everything.
This is the cluster found on the fifth floor of the student center:
Note that there is poor ventilation, keyboards that probably have been home to every flu season's worst killers for decades and a lack of hand sanitizer available, even though they have hand santizer dispensers next to the buttons of elevators on the first floor, because it's sooo hard to press one button with the sleeve of your jacket or something.
Not even the door is left open, ever, because you need a code to get in. (Or maybe it's really just to contain the diseases found there...)
So that's it, then. It's Pulp-fiction's fault.
You may be named after one of the coolest movies ever, but I still hate you for getting me sick.
*Athena clusters are MIT's computer labs, they can be found around campus. You can print free from them, and they're open 24 hours a day.
**Communication-intensive class required once a year for the first two years. Don't ask me to explain anymore about humanities requirements because no one really understands them. If someone tells you they do, they're lying.