Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Packin' Heat

It's been an eventful week already. (Did I mention spending last Thursday in two doctor's offices because they thought I had a hole in my eye? No? Well, now I did. Everything is fine, but I was not amused at the time). Ok. Back to this week.

The doctor's visit on Monday was uneventful but exciting. They did an ultrasound to check for ovarian cysts and a blood test to check that my hormones have stopped. Everything looked great and they have given me my schedule for the estrogen and hcg. It looks like we're aiming for retrieval starting next Friday and up to Monday. I felt like they were wanting to have me hold off until Monday so that the embryologist could do the ICSI (sperm injection) and monitor embryo growth, but I guess we'll have to wait to see what happens when it happens!

As for school, so far none of my colleagues have had anyone demonstrating with their empty holsters. And interesting very few of the students have heard about the protest, but as I predicted, those who have heard are appalled. As one grad student commented, would you really want to give an F to as student with a gun?

In any case, there has been no holster or gun sighting. Until today.

Today was the first day of presentations for the students in my class. I was sitting in the middle of the room listening to an interesting talk on interent gambling when there was an usual and persistent knock on the door. People do not knock on closed university classroom doors.

"Come in," I called out.

Some dude with his hat on backwards, jeans, and a baggy jacket said "I need to see the class instructor."

I noted how odd it must be for me to rise from the middle of the classroom and I walked to the door.

"Yes, what is it?" I asked him.

"I am a police officer and I need to see one of your students," he said.

Sure you are, punk, I thought to myself, being well versed in stalking and domestic violence and I was generally not trusting this dude whom could I towerover. Out loud I said, "Can I see your badge?"

He pulled back his jacket and then I could note, quite easily, that he was packin'.

OHMYGOD! I thought!! IT'S A NUTJOB!! (I'm a psychologist; I use the technical terms.) OHMYGOD!!! OHMYGOD!! Out loud I said pointing to his gun, "ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE PROTESTERS????" and regretting my post earlier that I trusted the protesters not to really bring guns on campus.

"I'm not in uniform. I'm doing a lot of undercover work."

The dude looked 18 years old at max. He handed me an ID and a badge. I remember he did because I remember the physical motion. But I am here to tell you that I have no idea what either one had written on it or what they looked like. As I have taught both Intro to Psych and Critical Thinking, I can tell that I know about the weapon effect, which basically means that whenever a gun is involved, all focus goes to the gun (which was snapped into his holster). I'm here to testify that it's true, even for people who know about it.

"I need to see your student AC. Her car was broken into and we think we know who did it." We've had a string of on campus crimes and the police have not been amused.

Ironically, guess who was giving the very interesting talk on internet gambling?? AC!

"She is doing her class presentation right now," I told him. "I mean Right Now! Right Now!! You're going to have to wait."

So then I came back into class, and honestly, the presentation was so good that the students were questioning AC without me being in there. That is not typical! I reassured them that all was ok and waited for the questions to subside. They didn't and I had to call out "One last question!" in a high pitched voice. And then as AC went back to her seat, I had to intercept her in the middle of class to let her know that oh, by the way, the officer is here for you and your car has been broken into! And I want to do this giving the woman some privacy while we are standing in the middle of class and all the other students are watching. This is a small, interactive class that has developed real feelings of groupiness together, so let's just say it was awkward and I was still freaking out about the gun outside!

So we did find out later that she's ok and a good samaritan student called the cops to stop there being more damage on her car. (We're such a tight class, she just posted her update on the class blog) I really am still a bit amazed by the whole experience. Of all weeks to have an armed undercover cop show up at my classroom door...

Really. Can I have an easy uneventful week or two until I can get this IVF thing done? I'd really like it.


Anonymous said...

Holy crap, Anita! That's one heck of a story. I was around a situation one time in which suddenly out of nowhere a flock of undercover cops converged on an area, and man, there was no way you could tell the cops from the general riff-raff. Student with walkman & backpack? Nope, cop! Homeless guy with shopping cart full of aluminum cans? Nope, cop! Woman pushing baby in stroller? Nope, cop with fake baby! We figured out later it must have been a drug bust since clearly there was some preparation involved in them all being nearby at that given moment (unless, perish the thought, three out of every ten random people you pass on the street really are undercover cops!) Sounds like you handled it really well & I'm glad the student's property remained as intact as possible.

Now cool it with all the drama for a while, will you??!


West Coast Diva said...

I can empathize and understand the concern when seeing a gun, totally. Being married to a former law enforcement officer I got used to all of that in a hurry.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for you regarding IVF cycle.

I went through several of them and have a son now. But can we say STRESS.