Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Geekman, calling from the university at 8:30am: "Hey Styley, that storm last night? It totalled the campus."

At the entrance:

Man in fluorescent hazard gear to students trying to pass the cordon: "Guys, guys! The university is CLOSED. Library shut, cafes shut, buildings under water. Take a holiday, dammit. It's not safe!"

Student: "Can we go in and take photos?"

Man in fluorescent gear: "Why doesn't anyone listen to me? You know, the worst are the professors. They just keep walking on in despite everything I tell them. I mean, they don't have to teach today: classes are cancelled. So why can't they just kick back and relax?"

At the pharmacy:

Me, squelching across the wet, muddy carpet: "Hi, I'm impressed you are open."

Pharmacist: "Oh, yeah. Everything's fine here."

Me: "Can you fill this prescription for me?"

Pharmacist: "Uh huh. But is it okay if I just put the pills in a spare box? The packaging is all soggy."

Me: "That's fine."

Pharmacist: "And I'll have to write the label by hand. Our printer died in the storm."

Me: "Okay."

Pharmacist: "Here you are. And you have another two repeats on that prescription, but I can't give you the receipt for them, because our machine is dead. I'll post it to you, okay?"

Me: "Sure. Can I pay by EFTPOS?"

Pharmacist: "Sorry. Our telephone lines are down."

At my building:

Another man in a fluorescent suit: "You can't go in there. There's too much damage."

Me: "But.... But... My files? My computer?"

Fluorescent suit man: "Take a holiday. There are no classes."

Me: "You don't understand! I'm a PhD student! I have three more days to finish an absolutely really truly final version of chapter five! I need my files!"

[StyleyGeek sneaks round the back entrance and lets herself in.* Our second-floor department is, indeed, 10 cm deep in water.]

Fluorescent suit man, looking through main entrance: "You again! Get the fuck out of there!"

Me [bursting into tears]: "WAAAAAAAAAAAH! I want my files!"

And that is how my supervisor found me five minutes later, having a total meltdown on the steps to our building because I didn't want to take a day off (or three, or four: they say the campus is off-limits "until further notice").

I'm starting to feel like one of the characters in this PhD comic (but with colder feet).

: the storm has made it into the news now. Here's the Sydney Morning Herald's version. I especially like the final line:
"A spokesman for the territory's water authority, ACTEW Corporation, was unable to confirm if any rain had fallen over the catchment area because the ACTEW building has been flooded."


* Mysteriously switching to talking about herself in the third person as she goes.


Queen of West Procrastination said...

WOW! That's some destruction. How long is it going to take to get your campus open? How are you going to use your unexpected vacation time?

StyleyGeek said...

They are saying "until further notice" and that they will send out an email when it reopens. A friend of mine in admin says the vice chancellor has told them that classes should be cancelled until at least next Wednesday (ie. for a week), but I can't imagine everyone being okay with us not being allowed back on campus for that long.

I still have some older versions of files I can use to do some work at home, as long as I'm careful not to confuse the different versions when I get back, and a few books I should read, so I'll try and work as much as I can at home.

Jenny said...

You ain't seen nothing - I'd just got home when the fire alarm went off, we got evacuated INTO THE HAIL!!! for four hours. The ceiling near my room collapsed - I'll post photos as soon as power comes back up here. Apparently they're forcasting a re-run tonight but my source there isn't particularly reliable.

They didn't let us back inside until about 4 in the morning.

Of course, the upside is that the kitchen is still flooded so they're giving us breakfast and lunch (possibly dinner too, yay!)

StyleyGeek said...

Yeah, I heard you guys had a roof cave-in or two.

Evacuation into the hail does NOT sound fun.

Jenny said...

Not really, no, but we survived. As soon as I can get my hands on the pictures I'll post them up - they're quite impressive, the walls were just covered in water and bits of the roof were falling off all over the place.

Jenny said...

Hey, I hear the Uni will be up and running again by late friday and they're probably giving themselves extra time just incase, so you can probably get your stuff back tomorrow or friday morning. Good luck! Take the day off.

DrOtter said...

my goodness. I hope everything gets sorted soon. Thanks for the sense of scale in your foot picture - big lumps of ice.

Anonymous said...

sheesh! that is a lot of damage...

RageyOne said...

Oh my, major storm there.

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

That is really wild.

But you have cute shoes! :)

Geeka said...

My worst feat is that I can't get ahold of files I need. I occasionally back stuff up to a webserver just because I am paranoid.

Hope the storm doesn't set you back too much.

StyleyGeek said...

Geeka, the worst thing is that I DO keep my files on the webserver so I can ftp them from home if need be. But the server is doing weird-ass stuff lately and doesn't let me access them.

StyleyGeek said...

Oh, and thanks, Pilgrim/Heretic. It's not often I get to wear sandals when walking in ice.

wwwmama said...

oh my god. that's terrible. but you did also make me laugh... (sorry!)

Badaunt said...

All that ice! In SUMMER!

That just confirms it for me: Australia is a deeply weird place.

L said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
StyleyGeek said...

I do like it here, liina. Sorry I had to delete your comment: I don't want the name of this city appearing on the blog because I don't want the blog to come up in a google search for "linguistics" + "this city".