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Day’s Verse:
For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
1 Cor. 13: 9-10
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1. The Spider. To accomplish all the Cell Bio reading necessary, I sequestered myself in the library. Specifically, in a sunny spot on the floor of the top storey, where the sun warmed my back and kept me content. At approximately Chapter 8, I noticed a shadow advancing on my right, along the stacks of the books. Glancing over, I saw a small, pale spider creeping perpindicular to the ground on the base of the bookshelves. It moved slowly and cautiously, pausing often to blend in (if it could have) with the tan metal shelving. Having just finished Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and with Mercerism fresh in my mind, I restrained my immediate kill-it response. Instead I benignly watched its progress until it moved out of the sunny patch and into a shadow.

I glowed with pride at myself for sparing the creature’s life, such as it may be. My reading absorbed me for a time, until I noticed the small shadow again, returning quite rapidly. As it approached my textbook, I paused its progress by blowing on it to frighten it away. With unexpected tenacity, it continued towards; I restrained my urge to squish it under the book’s cover. In fact I allowed it to crawl all over my book and onto my notes — even into the space between my three-ring notebook pages. When I ruffled the pages, it darted out of my notes and froze. I on it with force this time, whisking it away into the shadow again. By then the sun had moved so the patch was mostly on the books and less on the floor, so I shifted my position to another nearby sunny spot in a more open area. Feeling secure from the spider and comfortable once more in my sunny spot, I settled down to commence reading again.

A few minutes later, unaccountably, the tiny shadow appeared again in my sunny spot. I had moved three or four feet from my previous location, and no spider in its right ganglia would creep out into such an exposed place as this wide-open, unappealing floor. It had followed me for some reason — perhaps I smell like a female spider or something. Bothered, I scooped it up and away (still refraining from squashing it, oddly) with a flick of notebook paper. Then I realized that I’d lost its position entirely. Instead of working, I spent the next few moments glancing from the page in my book to all around my sunny spot. I scrutinized the carpet around me, but couldn’t locate the arachnid or shake the feeling it would creep up behind me and get into my pants or socks. Finally I gathered my belongings and retreated to the Campus Center, defeated by the spider and my desire to spare its mini-life.

2. The Strawberries. A couple nights ago, Ian and I enjoyed crepes for dinner. This fantastic recipe, with its warm fruit and cool yogurt and deliciously slender crepes, is a perennial favorite of ours. Unfortunately, the recipe makes dozens of crepes, and although we each can tuck quite a decent number away, together we still can’t eat a family-sized recipe of crepe batter. I put the extra away to have for breakfast or dinner another night.

Saturday mornings I enjoy going a little out of my way for breakfasts, and this morning my mind lighted on the idea of crepes. I’d done all the hard mixing work already; I needed only to heat some frozen strawberries and re-mix the separated batter. No mess, no trouble, and a delicious breakfast!

Well, the mixing entailed a small amount of splatter. Who could stir the batter in its tupperware without flicking a bit out? It was a mess of no account. I put the strawberries into the microwave for four minutes, covering them with our plastic plate-coverer to prevent splattering. The coverer, for the record, is round and has sides about 2″ tall, with holes poked around the outside of the top and a grip in the middle.

I settled to the business of cooking my first crepe. Four minutes later, when the microwave dinged, what a gooey red mess assailed my shocked eyes! The strawberries had softened alright; they appeared to have boiled, and indeed boiled over. Juice had run down the bowl’s sides and covered the microwave tray. Bother! I thought, so much for my non-messy meal. I reached in to take the cover off the strawberries. Inexplicably, the lid refused to budge. I even lifted the plate-coverer up, and the strawberry bowl went merrily right along with it. They could have been super-glued together, they stuck so tightly.

Gingerly lifting the microwave tray, strawberry bowl, and cover out all together, I established that somehow the strawberries, in boiling, had induced a vacuum (the bowl was too small to reach the perforated outside top of the coverer), although I cannot imagine why it would have done so. This vacuum secured the plate-coverer to the bowl exceedingly tightly, so my best efforts refused to budge it. I tried to pry it off with a knife; I squeezed the plate-coverer’s sides; I ran it under water; I pried at it with both ends of my spatula; I enlisted Ian’s ingenuity, but all to no avail. The coverer, if anything, seemed to affix more tightly as time went by! (Can you physics nerds out there explain this phenomena?) Finally, I punctured the coverer with a small knife, releasing the vacuum and allowing access to my quite steamy strawberries.

The moral of the story is, watch what you cover your bowls with, and try to induce vacuums as little as possible. Junior High joke: what do you get when you line a bunch of blondes up in a row?

The end. Come back tomorrow for more fun true stories with Katie.

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