Share data? Why do that?

There is a group of Chinese men that lives in my apartment building*. They are loud and I get the impression there are a bunch of them crammed into one apartment (judging by the noise level and the number of shoes outside the door). They stare at me ambiguously when I happen to pass them coming in/out. However, often when I come home in the evening, the entire apartment building smells like a Chinese restaurant. Two thumbs up.

Continue reading Share data? Why do that?


“It” = “IT”

….that’s not my joke, but it’s appropriate.


UPDATE 9/21: My admin account isn’t ‘elevated’ enough to install programs or make changes, my internet is abnormally slow and buggy, and I can no longer connect my speakers to the computer.

*Throws hands up and walks out of the room*


I recently discovered that there is no way to videoconference from my work computer, particularly via Zoom. So I decided to install Skype as a temporary Band-Aid for the situation. To install programs, I need to go to IT for admin privileges.

It’s a bad idea to give IT your computer unless you REALLY have to, and today is a good example why.

Continue reading “It” = “IT”

Lebanese Food, Moving, etc.

We went into Abidjan for haircuts, shopping, and birthday lunch. It was particularly interesting.

We got off the bus at the typical Total station (gas station).
“Go over to the road,” LM said. “There’s a taxi that MM wants that looks clean.”
We approach the taxi as the driver sticks a little glass bottle with a green liquid up his nose. By the time I had gathered my thoughts enough to comment, we had negotiated the fare and were getting in. I figured that if they didn’t protest, then maybe it was medication?

But let’s face it: medication is rarely colored neon green.

Continue reading Lebanese Food, Moving, etc.

Apartment hunting

Update: There are now links to videos of the plantation visit on that blog post. Right after the photos.


Today is a holiday of some sort (another Christian holiday we don’t celebrate in the US, which is ironic given the self-proclaimed religions of the respective countries), and it’s been pouring all day. This means that I have not moved from a 10 foot radius and am still in pajamas. On the other hand, I’m making great progress on Kingdom Hearts 356/2, and organized the kitchen cupboard. (Yes, singular.)

It’s been A Week.

Flight decisions are agonizing. As it is, I have an 11 hour layover in Morocco, which is going to be fun without a laptop or Kindle. Thanks, terrorists, for ruining flight for everyone.

Meanwhile, I’ve been apartment hunting.

Continue reading Apartment hunting

The Gala

It’s rainy season. Or Power Outage Season, depending on your level of dependence on electronics.

Friday night was the gala dinner. I jumped at the chance to help out LM and MM in decorating for the first part, which had some VIPs coming (the university’s president, a representative from the US, etc). The second part was entirely the students. Let’s just say… the planning skills around here, particularly anticipating what can go wrong, could use some practice.

Continue reading The Gala


I’m pretty sure my beloved Flex 3 is going to die at any time.  Back up all the things.

In related news, why doesn’t Lenovo have any contact option other than phone?!


So the field trip. The field trip from hell. The lab tech did most of the planning, since AN was pissed that they moved the date and I don’t speak French. Or know the conventions, of which there are a lot here. Continue reading Azagny

Because who cares about the students?

I just realized it’s April Fool’s. Suddenly the week makes sense.


The past several weeks, we’ve been planning a field trip to Azagny National Park, for tomorrow. We bribed the students with extra credit, threatened them with mandatory-ness, arranged all the details, asked for the buses. WEEKS AGO. All we needed was the PO to go through.

On Tuesday, we get an email: Mandatory Social Security meeting Sat! 10-2PM!

LM says it’ll be in French, AN says we don’t need to go. Okie dokie, no problem.


Thursday, the lab tech comes into our office. AN is in class.

“The field trip.”

“Yes? Did you get a hold of [name of financial guy]”

“Well…. they need the buses for students. Can we change it to Sunday?”

*pause while I’m trying to figure out what he means, because surely…*  “I’m sorry?”

“They need the buses. We can move it to Sunday.”

….wait, what universe are we in now? “No we can’t! The students have all had plans!”

“They can change their plans!”

“They won’t.”

“It’s mandatory.”

“We can’t!”

“We have to.”

This went on for a while. A student was sitting there, doing the midterm redo (very badly, but I’ll get to that).  Eventually, what can you do but concede?

Tech: “Send an email out to all IUGB saying it’s changed.”

What in the ….? “I’ll send it to my students, of course.”

“They don’t check their email. Send it to the whole school, then others can tell their friends.”

“No! They’re supposed to check their email! I’m not sending an email to the entire school over 60 students!”

Later, I talked to AN. We decided it would be best to request renting a bus, and she sent an email or something requesting that. I’m not entirely sure. She had a plan.

A half hour later, I get an email from the tech, to all the bio students, saying the trip was postponed. So much for renting a bus.

Turns out, the dean told the tech to do it on Sunday. All we can figure is that he wanted to go on the trip (which he is).


Friday night, I find out I’m supposed to go to the meeting. So much for the weekend.

The meeting was indeed in French. Once they gave a summary in English. Once they invited English speakers to ask questions. Nobody had anything to say. LM hid in her office. AN played Candy Crush, making me sit in the aisle seat and hide her because I was grading labs and it was ‘more academic.’ It started at 10 AM and ended at 2. It was supposed to end at 1.

Mercifully, the tech (who should have been around to help us find a place for the drinks since he was involved in screwing up our schedule but had an ’emergency’) called at 1 PM and I took the opportunity to leave the room. It was supposed to be a Q and A, but as far as I could tell the speaker was having fun telling humorous anecdotes.

When I saw MM whilst looking for a place to put drinks to keep them cold, she rolled her eyes and said, “Why did you go?!” Yeah. That’s the question. (First, she said “put the drinks in the office and turn on the AC… )

Anyway. Off to the park tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes…. At least the students should show up. The dean sent an email reminding them it was mandatory X-D

…and then back to class on Monday….


LM says that in Ghana, when something odd and usually negative would happen, they would say “WAWA.” “West Africa Wins Again.” So I’m going to be using that tag. Heads-up.

Oh my gosh. I started this over a week ago, and… life. Either time or internet connection Now it’s been long enough to increase the motivation:fatigue ratio over the threshold, so I’ll just leave it as it was and continue. At work. Because I am (wait for it) caught up. Seriously. I have everything ready for the rest of the week, with the exception of what I’m going to with section B and their failing grades. This is a big thing but requires a ‘eureka’ moment….. anyway. Onward.


“But I copied from the book!”

“It doesn’t matter! It’s in the syllabus underlined, italicized, and in bold. I’ve said it multiple times in class. Never, never, never, never copy word for word.” I have.

“But I read it first.”

I cover up the answer with my hand. “What is the answer?”

“I… but… I copied it from the book.”

“Exactly!” Continue reading Groundbreaking