The Story of My Day (in Bruises)

I had quite an eventful day today. My shins, arms, hands, and hips can attest to this, as they are now entirely black and blue. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But I do have black bruises and blue pen ink all over.
The backstory is that on Sunday, my team (Workshops and Resources) moved over 300 heavy boxes full of textbooks and reading books from the hallway outside into our Resource Room, and today we finished unpacking them all.
I’ll tell the story of my day in bruises…
Quarter-size deep bruise on left hip – This morning we all had to wake up earlier than usual to be at the Liacouras Center (a new building that I’ve never been to before) to attend an introductory meeting for all the new staff members that had just arrived the day before. We had to be in professional dress, because I guess they wanted us to look official and all as we sat in the back and watched the proceedings. We didn’t really do anything. But I digress.
We had to be there at 8 am, which really means 7:52-ish, and as I’d never been to this particular venue before, I’d planned the night before to leave my room at about 7:40-ish. This would give me enough time to get directions from the security guard downstairs about where I was going (I already had a general idea, but just needed to know which specific building it was).
Setting my alarm for 6:30 am (as I needed to shower in the morning), I slipped under my covers and fell into one of those deliciously deep sleeps that can only come after a long day’s work of stooping over to pick up and set down hundreds and hundreds of children’s books.
I think I remember my alarm going off in the morning. I know I got out of bed, hit the snooze (or so I thought), and crawled back into bed.

Just another five minutes, I thought in an exhausted haze.
The next thing I remember is that I was definitely dreaming about eating a ginormous delicious hamburger (what is this telling me?) when my brain, mid-bite, thinks to itself, This is kind-of a long dream. That snooze alarm should be going off soon. I wonder what time it is.
And just like that, I wake up. It’s a little too light outside. I panic and shoot out of bed. The clock reads 7:36. GAAAAAAAAAAH!!!
I have less than ten minutes to be walking out of my bedroom fully dressed in professional clothing. And I cannnnnnnot be late to this meeting.
I’ve never gotten ready faster in my life. On the bright side, now I know that, while not entirely desirable, it is technically physically possible for me to get ready to leave the house in ten minutes. I feel oddly accomplished.
On the down side, as I was leaving I ran into the bathroom doorknob. Hard. Hence, deep and rather painful bruise on left hip.
Unnoticeable bruise on right forearm – This one happened because I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. My excuse is that I was too busy making new friends.
Let’s see… I was laughing uncontrollably (personal note: knowing my loud laugh, maybe not the way to make new friends) because we were sharing funny embarrassing moments from when we first started dating. Sometimes when I laugh, it’s rather violent. Anyway, I ran into yet another door knob– this time in our hallway. You could hear the thunk distinctly, and I hit it with such force that I ricocheted off. With such grace and poise, it’s a shame I wasn’t born in the Victorian Era. But hey, at least I’m being friendly, right?
Bruise on right shin – It’s impossible to organize books while standing up, because you’re constantly stooping over uncomfortably low to get the books out of the box on the floor. It starts to really hurt your lower back after a while. So because my job for the last two days has consisted of basically the exact same movements over and over for hours on end (taking books out of boxes and not much else), I have since perfected the art of unpacking. Because on a side note, I’d really like to not have back problems when I’m an old lady, as that would interfere with my skydiving plans.
Anyway, the art of unpacking starts with first sitting down and making myself comfortable (usually one leg under, one leg out). Then I open the box and begin to pull out the books, stacking them in a pile or two beside the box.
Usually all the books I unpack look pretty interesting, and it’s a constant struggle to not slow my pace and let myself flip through a book or two as I go. If I did that, we’d never get done. When we started, I told myself that I couldn’t look through any of the books until the Resource Room was completely unpacked (or I was off shift).
Well, I forgot that little personal rule when it came to unpacking and stacking the large high school history textbooks. They were so much fun to look through that I forgot everything and became almost mesmerized by the pictures and stories.
I guess I got so caught up in admiring some very well-done watercolor illustrations of Christopher Columbus’ ships that I failed to notice I was piling that book stack just a liiiiitle too high. Of course, the pile was teetering and I continued to add books to the top. And then it collapsed. Right onto my outstretched leg.
Banged-Up Knees – No bruises have surfaced on my knees as of yet, but I’m sure they’ll be there tomorrow. All the Operations Coordinators did room sweeps today, where we split up into groups of two and checked every single room in the entire dorm building to make sure they all had working lights, toilets that didn’t spit or splash, and enough beds, desks, and phones.
The corps members (over 600 of them) will be moving into Temple next weekend to start their training to become teachers, and we had to make sure that their living quarters were peaceful and working properly so that they can focus on learning how to teach. Fine with me. Room checks were fun, because my partner and I had a fascinating conversation about educational reform while we worked.
While checking the rooms for working fixtures and furniture, we also taped the names of the corps members in each room to the doors so they’ll know where they live when they get here (and they’ll know the names of their friends). To make things most efficient, we dragged a little fold-up chair around with us that held tons of pieces of tape. This way, it took us less time to put up each paper because the tape was already ready to go. No fumble time needed. Well, no fumble time with the tape roll needed. I guess I was just having a super clumsy day today or something, because I kept hitting my knees on the chair as I carried it around with me.
Blue ink smudges all over (so not really a bruise, but contributing to the black and blue effect) – I have blue ink all over my hands, especially on my fingertips, which are for the most part, entirely dark blue. There is also a long ink line on my left bicep and a couple smudges on my right knee. I have zero idea how those last two got there. But the ink on my hands can be directly blamed for an exploding pen about halfway through unpacking boxes today.
We were short on scissors and didn’t have box cutters, so I was using a pen to stab at the packing tape on the boxes. Stab holes with left hand, rip open lid with right hand. Stab holes, rip lid. Stab, rip, stab, rip. I had a pretty good system going. Very effective.
That is, until the tip broke after a particularly violent stab, getting ink all over my finger tips. I then, like a brilliant one, decided that I could still use the pen, sans the writing tip. So I kept using the pen. Maybe I’ll blame it on being engrossed in the conversation we were having about educational equality (a popular topic around here), because when I looked down again at what I was doing, there was now blue ink all over my fingers, hands, and wrists. Nice.
I still don’t know how I got ink on my knee.
All the boxes we unpacked today.
During the unpacking process
Stay tuned!

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