Thank God for March Break!


Iím so happy March Break is here. I need a break from bad breaks, and so far, after 39 hours since the much anticipated bell, nothing has broken down. But the previous 12 days were part of an almost comical series of undesirable events. On the first of those days, I slipped on the ice and bruised my shoulder. It took the clinic 4 hours to have a look, and by then, the X-Ray department had closed. I got the prescription for an opioid and an anti-inflammatory drug filled and hoped for the best.

A few days later, on Friday, on one of those rare occasions, I took the car to work because we had a meeting at a different location, and I discovered that a nail parked itself into one of my tires. The next day, while my daughter was sleeping over at a friendís house, she was hit by gastro. My wife promptly picked her up in the wee hours of the morning so that the virus could naturally spread within our home. Since the pain killers for my shoulder were not helping me through the nights, maybe two upset digestive systems in the family, including my own, would. I was not so lucky.

On Tuesday, we woke up to a broken fridge. My parents were kind enough to come in the next day to wait for the repairman, but he cancelled on us because he was hurt on the job. Later that day, a second repairman showed up, only to tell us that the fridge would remain terminally warm.

With our food out in the snow and February rain in the forecast, we quickly bought a new refrigerator. But the next morning, the deliverymen (who surely were former students who failed my course) decided to leave a message on our home phone an hour before they arrived. When they showed up to our house an hour later, thatís when they decided to reach us by cell phone. They apologized and said they would return by the afternoon. They never did.

On Friday morning, the straps on my backpack started to rip. Earlier, after scooping up after Blues, I was flabbergasted by a broken doggie bag. That had never happened.

When March break finally arrived, and I got home, so had the fridge.

If, on average one bad thing occurs to a family every seven days, in an actual time span, any number of undesirable events can occur, including none. For actual examples, I have to turn to the familiar world of sports again. If you try to get good scientific data, it takes hours of searching through the internet or an expensive subscription to journals. But go to Yahoo Sports, and you get almost anything for free Ėmaybe even the number of athletesí burps per game.  Ray Allen, a basketball player with the Boston Celtics, shoots successful free throws over 89% of the time based on his 14 year career average. Does that imply that he will actually succeed on 9 of every ten attempts? Not at all. Between Dec 28, 2008 and Feb 22, 2009, he was 72 for 72, breaking a team record. But on Dec 26th, 2006 in an otherwise decent game in which he scored 21 points, he went only 4 for 8 from the free throw line. Each miss must have made him feel like I did for the past 10 days. Events, good, bad or neutral, tend to cluster from time to time.