Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Last week at Duke

This afternoon, I drove the van to Duke for the last time.

In a couple days, I'll have my liberal studies "exit meeting" in which my advisor, department chair and I get together to discuss whether my book will cut it as my final project.

Since I was spending the outrageous gasoline costs to get here ($3.75 a gallon), I decided to stick around for a week because there are a whole bunch of MRI and research study opportunities. I signed up for seven studies in nine days, so hopefully I'll leave here with a solid $150-$200 in my pocket.

I renewed my gym membership, got the van ready for vandwelling, and asked David to cut my hair, which was getting a little feral as you can see below.

As usual, I'll be doing everything I can to stretch every dollar as far as it will go. Apart from rummaging for uneaten food, eating the rest of my vandwelling victuals--noodles, rice, beans, powdered milk--I also have a whole bunch of chocolate my mother sent me for Easter--an event that was never a small deal in the Ilgunas household. (If my memory serves me right, I was hunting down easter baskets my mother hid into my early twenties.)

Unfortunately, I totally forgot that the chocolate would melt in this ungodly North Carolina heat (86 degrees F today). My beloved Cadbury Eggs can now be ingested with a straw.

Speaking of eggs, I had trouble saying goodbye to my two new yet-to-be-named roommates, who think of me as their mama.

They've cooed me to sleep for the past two weeks. I proposed to David that we ration their food so that they stop growing and forever remain chicks. It's a crime that they'll one day have to look like this....


Bob said...

Hi. I tried to leave a comment on your last post "uncertainty" but couldn't so I'll leave it here. First I agree with Mike. Secondly, have you ever read http://mobilecodgers.blogspot.com/ That is what He, Randy did. Believe me it's better to get the "shit/work" out of the way and postpone some of your pleasures till later. You may think differently now but as you age, I think you'll agree. Good Luck and keep writing no matter what!

kenavo said...

Fun, before and after; chicken and Ken!
Enjoy your last days.

Unknown said...

You cracked me up today, thank you for that ;) Loved the food rationing for the chicks and the photo of them as adults. I think they'll have to count your book as your final project! You put so much work into it, and you're such a great writer. You have a great sense of humor, and you have figured out how to include the specific details in a way that makes it flow rather than drag on (I unfortunately have not mastered this). Good luck!
PS: I hope none of those MRI or research studies have you doing anything too weird or painful.

Ken said...

Bob--Great blog. (It's amazing just how many vehicle-dweller blogs there are.)

Kenavo--That's almost a haiku! I will.

Constant--Poor Ruth the dinosaur. We pick on her and the other chickens pick (and peck) on her. Though, she's appreciated just as much as the others. My final project was in fact approved today--thank goodness. And none of the MRI studies should be too weird--I made sure not to sign up for any in which they'd shock me with electrodes.

Jo said...

I didn't realise that you could get cadbury cream eggs in the US! Happy Easter!

Nel said...

The blog is very good!

Romanas said...

Ahh Ken, I'll miss reading of your adventures down by a river on Duke campus. I kind of hope you don't sell your van. It would kind of like Batman selling the Batmobile, The A-Team selling their van, the Dukes of Hazard selling the General Lee.
Vans give us a sense of freedom and safety that few other vehicles can give us. They become our home on wheels. Our own little safe place that has amazing views from the windows.
Best regards,
Romana S.