21 April 2010

Other Duties As Assigned

My career as a college advisor has a job description like none other, and I love it. In the fall, my time is saturated with college applications. In the spring, I plan tons of events. Of course, it's right up my alley.

Do you know what's not up my alley? Wildlife, including: reptiles, rodents, amphibians, and birds. Last spring, I happened upon a snake working his way across the sidewalk. A student refused to kill it because it wasn't venomous. Whatever. Also last spring, a 9-foot python escaped from her habitat, most likely through the ceiling. I spent the better part of last summer avoiding any heavily landscaped pathway. Since I'm one of few left on campus during the summer, I knew I couldn't become lunch to Mrs. Python. No one would ever know.

(Though I did create some plans just in case I happened upon the snake.)

(I never did, but I figured I hug a tree or some other object anchored to the ground. Surely a python can't kill me if I'm wrapped around the tree, right?)

(Although the above plan was in place, I never did figure out how I'd pull a 9-foot python with me to the tree. Adrenaline, I guess.)

Well, I've convinced myself that Mrs. Python couldn't have lasted through the (relatively) cold winter we had. I mean, we had several days in the teens and 20s. She's a goner. I hope. Actually, I just had the thought that Mrs. Python lived with Mr. Python. I'm assuming some type of procreation occurred at some point. I just hope I don't come upon any baby pythons this summer!

Side note to the above rabbit trail: In said building where Mrs. Python escaped through the ceiling, there is a "dead" smell that's been around for a few months. Others think that perhaps birds and squirrels have crawled into the ceiling and died. I have money that when they finally tear down the wall, a snake skeleton will be found. I mean, seriously, squirrels smell bad for a couple of weeks after keeling off. A 9-foot python could stink it up for a few months.

Back to today...

As I was walking to the administration building on campus, I heard a group of students start screaming and squealing. They were at lunch, so I thought I might ignore them. Until they began pointing at the ground. Of course, I assume it's a snake of some size. I was wrong. It was a bat. A bat that fell out of a tree onto one of my students. Then it laid there. And attracted a crowd.

Evidently, word of the bat spread to all students but no other faculty. No amount of pleading could get any student to fetch another adult. I didn't feel as though I could leave the students with the bat since I'm sure the crowd would have provoked it into biting someone. Then I'd feel bad that a student caught rabies.

I had to comfort those who "had made a connection with the bat and couldn't leave it" with hugs and sweet words, threaten those who thought poking it with a stick could have been fun, and yell at everyone to get to class. Two out of the three worked. I mean, how often do you see a bat up close and personal?

The bat slowly began to attempt flying a few feet at a time; then he'd take a break. Finally a couple of science teachers showed up. As we discussed our plan of action, including calling pest control, the little bat flew away, over the gym and across the horizon. The science teachers theorized that he fell off of his perch while asleep; waking up in broad daylight, stunned from the fall and with 50 students screaming surely didn't help. As soon as he had his wits about him, he knew what to do.

And he did it.

And the students who made connections with the bat went to class.

1 comment :

Adriane said...

i laughed out loud and could literally hear you say all of this..and randomly jump around topics....luv ya!