Blood Drive (Part 1/3)

“Excuse me, but is there anyone here who wants to participate in the blood drive?”

The attention of the entire classroom swiveled towards the open front door, thirty-one pairs of eyes – some expectant, some curious and some wary – examining the somewhat unremarkable attendant who had entered following a polite series of knocks. Class had barely started, a pity in that it was likely to have been a very exciting event given that the teacher himself looked bored to death, but, students being students, most were relishing the welcome interruption to what had had the prospect of being an actual class session.

I did, however, take the liberty of being amused at how excited the teacher seemed to be at the interruption, at his zero hesitancy on closing the textbook. Some days, no one did feel like class. Today seemed like one of those days, and there was no reason to kick out a voluntary distraction.

“Well then, I’d apologize but since I’m abandoning the lesson for good cause, we’ll just hold off learning about things you already know until next week, shall we?” The teacher announced with a chuckle, rolling up his sleeves and heading out past the amused nurse. Many others stood up, each with their own observation of the situation – “I’m actually wondering if we’ll ever get any lessons done at this rate?” “If I didn’t live where it’s supposedly infested with malaria-” quite a lot of people snorted at that, having heard the same rant every time the blood drive happened, “-I’d have been able to get a free freaking cinema coupon!” “Do you think I’ll still have problems with blood pressure?”

I turned my eyes back toward the desk, a sudden buzz in my head. This was the first time I’ll be actually available for a blood donation at all, age and medication having interfered the last two occasions this had happened. But then again, I thought, I hadn’t really been medicated then – unless you count Tylenol as viable blood donation risks.

 

Truth be told, I’d been scared. I was never very fond of needles, more so than the average person; I had embarrassing childhood accounts of rolling on the hospital floor in resistance to prove it. But still, it really was a good cause, and I did know, albeit theoretically, that those needles couldn’t hurt any more than the injections that we didn’t really have much choice but to take. I tended to overreact, pinching my thigh to distract myself even with those injections, but I did know that it couldn’t actually hurt that bad… right?

I thought back to a friend of mine, one that I particularly looked upon. He was probably the one life who had the most hardships throughout my knowing of any acquaintance, and he had been a very vocal enthusiast of blood donation. He’d only recently contacted me to alert me of his twentieth donation, to which I’d responded with the appropriate awe. I pushed my reminiscence the tiniest bit more to recall that time when he’d given me the most heartwarming speech in terms of his wishing for my happiness, and that tipped it for me. I stood up as flippantly as possible, and ran downstairs to where the vehicles were parked.

Another nurse directed me to the cafeteria, where the paperwork had to be filled out. I sat down nervously next to my classmates, eyeing the blood-plasma yellow paper. My mind supplied that it was pretty ironic that the blood drive paperwork had the color of what was essentially the liquid part of blood, but I kept that to myself. It probably wasn’t even intended, anyway.

“First time?” a voice asked as I turned, startled. The nurse who’d called us out for the event was hovering next to me, having obviously sensed by hesitance. I looked around and realized that no one else was having problems with simple paperwork. Flushing slightly, I nodded. She smiled sympathetically, and pointed out the boxes I needed to fill, and the boxes I didn’t really have to, unless I wanted to. Purely out of spite, I filled out my address as the nurse observed it in obvious amusement, probably taking note of my rebel soul.

She shuffled me over to the makeshift receptionist’s desk, where a man in a suit (looking horribly uncomfortable, god, that suit must be absolutely suffocating-) stamped my papers and sent me off with a, “Go up and into the bus labeled with the number four, if you will.”

I complied and went inside, and immediately let out a breath I didn’t know I had been holding until then. The familiar sight of my classmates greeted me, and the ease in which they were holding themselves convinced me that hey, maybe this isn’t going to be so bad after all.

TBC…


I’m…. trying my hand at narrative diaries? With a little bit of fiction touch to them?

So this is basically a snippet of my life, about a month back during midterms when I couldn’t just write it up.

Also a PSA that blood drives are important for hospitals because they often don’t have enough to give out transfusions to those who need it! Doesn’t even hurt that bad, really, and if you live in Korea you’ll get snacks and movie tickets and a little blood donor identification card that allows you a discount whenever you get a transfusion yourself, so yeah. Give life, give blood!

Happy (albeit belated) April fool’s?

Yes, I am aware that it has been literal ages since I last posted (not that I think anyone would actually care? this being more of a self indulgence than an actual functioning blog)

Life gets in the way, and it gets in the way a lot. Tibbets of fiction and nonfiction and thoughts will still go up sporadically, but precisely that – sporadically. 

april fool's

Sometimes we all need an excuse to get out of some things, and an excuse to make mischief. That is not to say that we always need it, or that some (most) wouldn’t do it without the excuse – it’s just easier for everyone when there is.

April fool’s has been that day for us. I can’t vouch for other people, but for as long as I can remember April fool’s actually being a thing – which basically means since middle school for me – it’s been a very grandiose thing without exception. Back in middle school, I’d trade places in class with my then-doppelganger, sitting out of place in the seniors’ classroom but everyone enjoying themselves a bit too much when the teacher passes by the girl in short hair that really does resemble the boy she’s replacing. We’d drag our desks out into the outer hallways, exclaiming that we had a picnic class of sorts, or we’d hold our teacher hostage (there were karate chops involved) until she bargained to get out of it over the ransom pay of ice cream. Flip the desks to face the other side of the classroom, be absolutely nowhere we had to be – it was really the time of our lives, in a way.

And then high school came, and even if it weren’t that much of a giant change, it really couldn’t be denied that it was indeed one. Crazy things weren’t that largely tolerated, because craziness. Craziness is usually frowned upon when not everyone is crazy. Not just on April fool’s, but in general, the crazier part, eccentricities of a person had to be subdued or risk something akin to derision on every corner. Of course, it managed to manifest itself in ways outside of it, but still – it was a bit of a shock that for some people, obsessions of every kind were frowned upon. Three years of absolutely living outside normalcy had ruined normal for me – it was bland and uninteresting, to say the least. I don’t even remember what we did for the last two years – it’s very plausible that we didn’t do anything at all, or at least not anything worth note.

But the last year of high school – now that’s special. There are two spaces of time in a Korean human being’s life when being near clinically insane is passed over with a cluck of the tongues and light head shaking at the most. The first is when you’re born and you’re a helpless baby who literally can’t do anything to fare for their actions. The second is when you’re in your last year of high school.

(Truth be told, anytime between that and your admission into college, but that’s just a little bit too depressing of a story to think about.)

There’s a bit of a tradition for us, and for our homeroom teacher. His spans a bit further than ours. He’s been in charge of the last class on the roster for six years to boot, and always the Spanish majors. Mostly because the subject he’s in charge is happens to be Spanish. (There is word, on good grounds, that his subject isn’t actually Spanish but the well-rounded subject of college itself.) And the Third-graders, the Goh-Sahms of the country, will take it upon themselves to mutilate the teacher’s long suffered and loved car with whatever equipment they can find. A couple of years back, they themed it into a wedding car, with the ribbons and flowers to complete the look – last year and the year before that had been a thorough coverage of the car, meticulously done in post-it notes. This year, we envisioned a tank – envisioned being the key word.

As the photo will no doubt prove, it wasn’t a very nicely done job. Our cannon, devised out of connected Pringles’ containers broke down in the middle of the taping process; we ran out of paper to cover the car with soon enough that we ultimately decided that we won’t do the parts of the car that went unseen unless you took efforts to go that way; and even then, it was a very hastily and messily done job. Some of the kids scoffed at us, claiming that they needed to actually go to college and went in the way to stop us doing it properly. It was a mess, and frankly, the end result was little short of embarrassing.

But it had been so much fun.

And really, that was all it. Sure, the things we were doing were thanks to tradition, and for the most part it was for show. But that didn’t mean that the process, no matter how butchered and how messy it had been, was fun. It was fun because it gave us the chance to unhinge – to go crazy, mad, stop thinking about responsibilities (ironically enough it was through another responsibility that we managed to do it but still) and just go for it, for once. It failed spectacularly, but who cares? It was all nothing more than pieces of construction paper that we were going to tear off sooner rather than later.

There hadn’t been that many incidences when I felt that I could truly unhinge, especially after coming to high school. High school had made that count closer to nil than I would have liked. Being a Third grader certainly didn’t help. But for once, to unhinge, to let go – it had felt so immensely good.

And even if I am aware that this is probably a very illogical and very odd conclusion to come to, not to mentioned hurried, (I really do have to go to sleep and I’d prefer to not put this post off for any longer), it really was just that. The chance to unwind, to have fun regardless of the consequences. Another eight months of this and it probably will be close to being done with; I can’t wait to see what that might bring. College apparently brings forth chances for you to regress into your high school uniforms and to relive memories. I have no doubt this one, this year, has been one that will etch itself into my memory to spring back at those moments, along with the ones where I was stuck in the place of my doppelganger. :)

Happy April fool’s, everyone.