06 October, 2010

F '10 Scavenger Hunt #5: The best traits of human nature

Birthdays only come once a year (for most of us), and they are such a good excuse to spoil ourselves just a little.  Whether you are having three celebratory breakfasts or treating yourself to a lie-in, this is a day that stands out from the other 364.  If you are having your birthday while on your semester abroad you may find it a strange and exhilarating experience.  One of the best parts has to be getting packages and presents and cards from home.  Others make a special point of being out of their home country for their birthdays.  Perhaps it has become a tradition, or perhaps it is a clever ploy to ask for money to take traveling for your birthday.  Either way, there are infinite ways to celebrate birthdays.
A horse and a snake after the birthday brownies are eaten
This scavenger hunt installment therefore deals with years.  Here in the ICLC, Bill likes to keep abreast of the where his faculty and staff fall in the Chinese calendar to see which animals are represented.  Bill himself is a dog and amongst our staff the dogs grossly outnumber any other animal, so I think we all know where this bias in his hiring policy comes from.  It may also have to do with the fact that people born in the year of the dog possess the best traits of human nature.  When including the faculty into the mix I thought that the dogs topped the leader board with six of us, but much to my surprise we have seven snakes!  Snakes are deep.  They say little and posses great wisdom.  It makes sense that a college would employ people who possess great wisdom.  We also have four rabbits, three rats, two horses, one dragon and one boar.  Unrepresented are rams, monkeys, roosters, tigers and oxen.  Your job is to find any one of these last five animals.  Extra points if they are living, breathing animals.
3 horses, 2 tigers and a snake
On a personal note, when I was born I think my doctor was very excited on the occasion.  My evidence for this is that she dated my birth certificate with the wrong year.  As a result, I have quite a unique certificate which says that I was born a decade after my birth certificate was signed and dated.  My parents were there, that's not how it happened.  I don’t think she is a psychic as well as a doctor, but I don’t really have an explanation for this one.  She’s a very good doctor, so she probably just put in a better effort studying medicine than the calendar.  Birth certificates, being part of public records, can involve a lot of bureaucratic effort to change.  So my parents never did it when I was a kid, and I think it’s such a weird quirk that I have no interest in changing it myself.  When I was a kid I hoped this would help me get a driver’s license ten years early.  My dad, with more of a mind towards forward planning, thinks I should apply for social security ten years early.  Needless to say, I had to wait until I was actually 16 years old to drive, because no one would believe that a child who looks six years old should be behind the wheel of a car.  And I have no intention of trying to scam the social security system.  In honour of my wonky birth certificate, your second mission is to find something made in 1972, the year I wasn’t born.
A horse and a snake
-Elsie (as well as one of the ICLC’s many dogs)

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