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michael5000

The scariest moment of my life was when I went out walking with my girlfriend in a thunderstorm, and a lightning bolt hit a telephone pole about 40 feet away, and I felt some of the charge come down through my arm, and my girlfriend and I both ran like craven animals for shelter, each without the merest trace of a thought for the other. What I learned was, don't go out for a walk in a thunderstorm. Particularly with a metal umbrella.

How'd I do?

Rob B

The most influential person in my life is my wife, April. In the 7 years we dated and the 9 years that we have been married, she has been there to help me form numerous life changing decisions. From her I have learned to be more patient, kind and thoughtful than I ever was before. With her, I have learned the fears and joys of parenting, the hope that comes in bonding together against impossible odds and the peace that comes with silent togetherness. Due to her, I have learned the strength to endure past my limits, the responsibility to be more than I have any right to be and that love is a commitment deeper than any feeling. It is for these reasons that she has helped make me a better man. For this, I will always be grateful.

CraigC

First, get a really hot babe......

tracy

Y'know, if I'd had a prof like you, I might have finished college....

Julie

Rob, that was great.

Rob B

I'm the king of "kiss ass."

gail

Julie, wouldn't you love to have Michael and Rob in your class?

Melissa

Probably the most exciting thing that's happened to me this year (so far) has been my foray into beekeeping. I've always been interested in the natural world--I would've been a biologist if the calculus classes hadn't caused my head to explode--and the recent news about honeybee decimation piqued my interest. I went to the local library and spent some time researching the subject online until I thought, Hey! If Neil Gaiman can do it, so can I.

Bees come in three, four, and five pound packages. These packages are balsa wood boxes with screened tops and bottoms, and they have a punctured tin can filled with syrup to feed the bees, some of which are shipped from hundreds (if not thousands) of miles away. My three-pound box of bees came from California, and I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for them--journeying all the way from the sunny south to the wet, cold, windy Pacific Northwest.

I received my bees in April this year (soon to be known affectionately as The Year Without a Summer), right in the middle of a cold snap. I kept the package in my garage for a few days until the sun came out and outdoor temperatures reached at least 55 degrees--much colder than that, and the bees can become chilled and die. I worried and fretted over the box and went out to check on them at all hours, just to make sure they were still humming away and clustered in a protective cone around the queen cage.

Finally, the weather broke before the bees ate up all the reserve syrup, and I put them in my car and headed out to the bee yard--otherwise known as my friend's garden in the country. We set up the pre-made hive box complete with frames, and, following the instructions gleaned from "Beekeeping For Dummies", prepared to do the following: open box full o' bees, remove queen cage, and then SHAKE BOX VIGOROUSLY OVER THE EMPTY HIVE.

When I was a kid, I knew of bullies who'd catch bees, put them in jars, shake the jars up and then turn the bees loose on whomever they were torturing at the moment (besides the bees). This seemed awfully like that sort of foolishness, only it was for a good cause--and my husband and I both were safe under our hats and veils. Not only that, the weather was still fairly cool and the bees were tired of being cramped in that little box.

Nevertheless, nothing ever goes as planned. Instead of a neat ball of bees plopping out into the hive, a large dense, buzzing cloud poured forth--mostly in the hive, but some on my legs, my arms, my back. Adrenalin surged and my heart started pumping in overdrive, but the bees seemed to know far better than their woefully inept beginning keeper. (A calm, collected husband's presence never hurt, either). In a little while, all the bees were shaken out of the box, the queen cage positioned, the bee feeder filled with syrup to get them through til the flowers started blooming, and the hive cover replaced. We went back to the house to have celebratory drinks--me shaking a little more than I'd like--and to congratulate ourselves, though I think the bees did all the work.

Now, four months (and two swarms!) later, I have three hives, one sting, and high hopes for the future. I'm hoping I don't do anything stupid that the bees can't survive, and mostly I'm trying to stay out of their way so they can get on with the business of being bees.

Jake

On the scariest day of my life I blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-..then I blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-until finally I blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah... In hindsight I learned from this that blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.. but after all was said and done I thought to myself " Damn.. Rectum? It damn near killed 'em.."

Jake

I tried to do this assignment but the brief anecdote I intended to write turned into a 6 page novelette as if by magic.. so I just trashed it...

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