Greetings Readers. So sorry for the hiatus. A lot has happened over the past month, and most of it “ungeek” related which made it difficult to post here. But the other night I had some thoughts relating to life/res life/a being a geek.
So – I had a long week of duty. Most of us know about duty – but in case you don’t, basically I am the point person for when our staff has questions after hours. Anytime a student goes to the hospital, any time a police officer comes to campus, I get called. And at the beginning of the year, we get more calls because we are still working with new staff members to build their confidence. The past week I was on call, I had a few nights where I was woken up every few hours. Now, when I was 24-27, this didn’t bother me. I could sleep in, the staff knew not to call me before 10am, so even if the calls were bad, they usually ended around 3-4am, which gave me 6-7 hours of sleep, waking up at 10am. But lately, I am not 27 anymore (I hit the 40 year old mark this past year) and being woken up every few hours has a bigger impact on me. Don’t mean to complain – this is what I signed up for – but it does get progressively more difficult.
Ok – so anyway, duty ended, and usually, the night after your duty week one can usually sleep in without getting any phone calls. But now with three kids, I came to a very real epiphany. Duty week is EVERY week. The night after I ended duty, I was woken up by our 2 and a half year old (in the middle of potty training) having an accident in bed. An hour later, my 5 year old had a bad dream. An hour after that, my two and a half year old had to go potty. Then an hour after that, my almost one year old woke up crying.
First a side note – usually on Friday night/Saturday mornings, I take full charge of the kids because my wife works HARD during the week raising them, she should at least get a night “off duty,” so if you are wondering where my wife was, she was sleeping in bed, cause she deserved it. Again – not complaining. So I came to the realization that has a parent, I am ALWAYS on-call.
So how does this relate to being a geek? Well, the following night my wife and I watched The Avengers after the kids went to sleep. You know who ELSE never gets a night off from duty? Yeah – superheroes. They are ALWAYS on call. They drop everything to go and save the world. The scene in the movie where Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are having a nice romantic celebration, Agent Coulson interrupts them because the world needs saving. And even though Tony initially wants to shirk his responsibilities, Pepper brings him back to earth to tell him he needs to go. Geesh – that stinks. How many of us in res life has experienced something similar? We are on duty – enjoying life, hanging with friends and significant others, trying to live our lives despite the duty phone hanging around our metaphorical necks, and all of a sudden that duty phone rings. You know it’s a duty call, either because you’ve set the special ring tone or you have a special “batphone” used for emergencies only. You know you don’t really want to answer it – but you do anyway.
And each time you answer that phone – you are a hero. Because you are there to save the lives of those who are calling to rely on you for wisdom, resources, knowledge, or just a calming force in a stressful situation. When you answer the duty call, you act in a manner that is indeed heroic. The heroes in the Avengers don’t really get to go on vacation. They are always on call. So – take heart, readers – the next time you (Judge) Dredd being on duty, remember – you are answering the call, putting on the mantle of the Bat, lacing up your sneakers, putting on the uniform, etc. And you are indeed, a hero! Don’t you forget!
PS. If you ever want to be a parent, being on call is a perfect training opportunity to being “on call” at night when you kids sleep. Embrace it for your future!
PPS. Hope you enjoyed this. Next week, our patron saint of reslifegeek.com, Ryan McRae will be here with a guest blog! Stay tuned!