Robertson Hall, ch 7 ~ 12

Robertson Hall is about some computer geeks in college. Read chapters 1-6 in this thread.

There may be some heavy geekery in some of the upcoming chapters (this one’s a start), but there will be some fun non-geeky outings too.

Chapter 7: Project
Monday morning I awoke to Keith returning from the shower. “Morning Kei,” I said as I stretched and sat upright.
“Hey you,” he said, putting his things down. “Have you been feeling okay?” He came and sat on the bed, so I scooted over to give him room.
“Yeah, why?”
“You kinda kept to yourself this weekend.”
“Busy with ValOS for the robotics team. Did I tell you, I got it accepted as a G-job for Micro-controllers and OS Engineering?”
“G-job?” Apparently he didn’t know the term.
“Government job. Where you can do personal projects at work. I do this for the robotics team, then get credit in both classes.”
“Schweet…” he said, imitating Cartman’s voice and giving me a double-thumbs up. “Breakfast?”
“Let me dilate and shower first.”

Given I was back to class schedule, and not distracted by being pissed off, I made it through the day without setting the overflow bit on my diapers. After classes, I found Keith in the room with some spare laptops out– he had a couple of junkers that were too archaic to be useful, but they had ethernet, so he’d occasionally get them out for generating some kind of network performance analysis.
“Hey Li, can I borrow Val?”
“Sure. What’re you testing?” He replied in networking lingo; I caught ‘ethernet’, ‘ip’, ‘tunneling’, ‘asynchronous’, `heterogenous’ and a couple other buzzwords. He proffered me a network cable, so I plugged it in and created a user account for him. “Do you need to install software?”
“Yes. Do you have a C compiler on there? I don’t have a Mac binary.”
“Yep,” I replied as I enabled root privs for his account.

Jane and Dale showed up first for dinner. “Hi Keith. Hey Lisa. Did you finish that project you were working on this weekend?” asked Dale.
“No, but I got a lot done. Check this out…” and I launched into an explanation of ValOS. “I’m hoping to convince the robotics team to use it as a platform for the robotic competition this year,” I finished.
“That’s pretty awesome, Li. What do you do for an encore?” he joked.
“A memory manager. And device drivers.”
“Have you heard the objective this year yet?”
I shook my head. “No, but I think we’ll find out at the meeting tonight. Wanna come?”

During dinner, I persuaded Tim to join Dale and me to the robotics team. It was Dale’s first time; Tim had “tried out” as a freshman but didn’t have enough experience, so he’d eventually bailed out. With his internship experience this past summer, he would probably now be one of the leads. As for me, I’d been on the team the last two years, but I’d only managed to write a few device drivers. I never had time to do more, since I had been working as many hours as I could get in campus food services to save up for surgery. This year would be different.
“Welcome. This year’s specs,” Roger greeted as as we entered, sounding strangely normal. He must have been trying not to scare of the newbies.
I looked at the fuzzy photocopy of the specs. Building advanced robots, check. Printing legible copies of an electronic document, not so much. I scanned down and read the objective: ‘Collect the balls and place them in a hopper.’ “Roger, this is last year’s project.”
He shook his head. “Read on, missy, this isn’t your father’s pick-up balls project,” he said, sounding like dialog from a ‘30s talkie. I was glad to hear this; I enjoyed his quirky, if stupid, way of emulating different movies or shows.
“Gee, Lisa”, Dale chimed in, “I don’t know if you’re allowed on this project, what with all the time you spent getting rid of balls.”
“Whoa!” Tim exclaimed, his way of asserting he’d just heard a charged statement. When he saw me grin at the joke, he broke into his loud laugh.
The specs were indeed different from last year. Or at least they would be. The starter project for the first round was the same as last year, picking up ping-pong balls, with one crucial difference: it was supposed to be automated instead of remote-controlled. Additionally, there was a laundry list of possible enhancements we’d need to make for the second and third round. Things like handling different sizes, shapes, or weights, or maybe having to sort them on some criteria.
The three of us read, discussed, and brainstormed for about 15 minutes before the faculty advisor, ‘Jimbo’, arrived in his typical late form.
“Jimbo, have you seen these specs?” someone else asked before we managed to.
“Yes I have. How do you all feel about them?”
There was a lot of hemming and hawing along the two lines of ‘how do we build something when the spec isn’t clear?’ and ‘how do we automate eyesight?’
“The Challenge this year wanted to simulate industry, and in industry you’ll be expected to make product enhancements in a timely manner,” Jimbo explained. “Industry robots have also been getting more advanced, and the committee thought it was time to step up the objective.”
“Yes, but all this?” someone objected.
“No, not all that. I sent in some questions of my own and got an e-mail this afternoon. The clarifications are as follows:” He pulled out a sheet of paper and read. “Handling: you will in the future need to implement one handling other sizes, shapes, or weights– not all three. Sorting: There will not be more than two sizes, shapes, or weights at any time, and differences will be ‘reasonably distinctive’. Therefore, you will be sorting on one criteria, with a maximum of two options. Scoring: Scoring will be based on the number of objects the machine correctly picks up and puts in the hopper. If– when– sorting is a required feature in the future, objects incorrectly sorted will incur a penalty.” He looked up and said, “That’s right minus wrong, people”, before looking down and continuing. “Enhancements required for each round of competition will be announced after the prior round’s trials.” He put the paper down. “So, since there are 3 rounds, there will be 2 enhancements.”
“So one will be handling, the other sorting,” I said, to clarify the dodging around the issues the rules had done.
"Dude, it took us all friggin’ last year to build one robot. How are we going to make three? Plus automated control?" someone complained.
“We don’t have to make three. We just have to make one extensible, and we can start with last year’s project.”
“How do we make it extensible when we don’t know what’s required?”
“We know sort of what the future requires.” The discussion went on.

After an hour of debate and brainstorming, we were slowing down. During one interval, I remembered about ValOS. “Oh, hey, I built an operating system for the robot.”
“We don’t need an OS, we need an embedded system.”
“And before an embedded system, we need a plan,” someone else kvetched.
“No, we don’t,” I started. “A stable platform to manage memory, coordinate processes, and modularize the system is always a plus. Look,…” and I went into my spiel.

“Yes, but the robot still crashes when there’s a bug.”
“No it doesn’t!” I explained; hadn’t he heard what I’d been explaining? “Well, not if I do my part right,” I qualified. “Your process crashes, and ValOS restarts it.”
“But the process is in a bad state now.”
“No, it’s in a fresh reset state. Which is better than a crashed state.”
“Then everything’s lost. We need to issue a recalibrate.”
“Yes, on that subsystem,” I argued. “The rest of the systems stay up and retain context. And, since it’s a multiprocessing system, all the processes work independently.” That was a recursive definition, I realized, so I clarified, “So while the motivation process wants to move to a new location, the arm can be in motion too. Without having to write insidious concurrent multi-axis movement code.”
Someone grunted, nodding. He must have written something like that.

I didn’t managed to convert them all, but I was gaining ground and even had a majority when Jimbo finally weighed in on my side. The remaining resistance fell.
We hadn’t decided on a final design for the mechanics, but we had three general plans. We divided the 17 attendees into 3 groups: one with a vacuum lift-arm idea based on last year’s design, one with a claw-and-sensor plan, and one with a scoop and internal hopper– which I was on. Dale was one of 2 other coders, so he got assigned to the vacuum system to even out the teams, even though he liked the other two better. Tim also liked both new designs, distrusting the adaptability of the vacuum system in the future, but was assigned to claw-and-sensor.
We arrived back at the dorms around 22:00. I needed a break, so I borrowed Kei’s Sennheisers and listened to Copland’s Appalachian Spring while dilating.
Before bed, I made one last decision for the day: after going 12 hours on Saturday without dilating, without permanent repercussions, I could cut back on dilation frequency. After release from the hospital I had been aiming for the suggested 7 - 8 sessions per day, 40 minutes each. Since starting classes, it had dropped to 6 times, typically 20 minutes each. But if I could go 12 hours without serious repercussions once, I could get away with one 8 hour interval per day. I’d still have to get in 4 or 5 sessions daily– maybe a little longer per session to compensate– but at least I could sleep through the night.
I deleted the late-night alarm cron job on Valerie, and went to sleep.

Re: Robertson Hall, ch 8

I hope everyone is enjoying the story. Alas, this will probably be the last update until next month while I’m away. I’ve got a pretty good buffer (several chapters) of story built up built up, but I’m having a bit of writer’s block which I’m hoping will clear with the traveling I’ll be doing.

Chapter 8: Win
I woke before my alarm went off, probably because my bed was wet. Crap: I’d skipped my overnight dilation, which mean the brief hadn’t held. I should have thought about this after overflowing three times during the day in the past week when I’d gone too long. In the daytime, I could change my behavior, but I’d have to find a long-term solution for overnight.
It was about time I washed my sheets anyway, so I bundled up the laundry in the cart and hauled it downstairs, where I learned something useful: people– or at least college students– don’t do laundry early in the morning. I would have to do early morning wash more often. After getting the wash started, I returned upstairs to dilate and shower.

It was Kei’s turn to wake up on my return from the shower. “You’re up early,” he observed.
I growled and complained, “Diaper overflow,” before giving him a hug.
“Ah. That’s why your sheets are gone.”
“Let me grab a shower first.”
I laid back on my mattress– the bedpad under the sheets had done its job and kept it dry– and began to think about the robotics project. I mentally ran through different ideas of how it could work, sorting on shape, or size, or weight. And suddenly, I went down the right path, and the whole thing made sense. I wasn’t a mechie but it seemed buildable, and the design seemed clean and easy, and I had ideas for all the future options– we’d just need to set aside space to add the sorter later. I grabbed some paper and was sketching excitedly as Kei came back in. “I’ve got a solution to the robotics contest this year!” I told him.

After breakfast, I thought about my day and decided I’d better go shopping before classes, which ran from 11:00 straight through to 18:00 now that A&P lab was starting. I moved my laundry to a dryer and walked my car.
Instead of hitting the grocery store, I tried a drug store, hoping for a better set of options. Indeed, instead of being confined to ‘protective underwear’, there were real adult diapers. The selection was still limited to the store brand, Tena, and Depends, but it was an improvement. I reviewed the package absorbency specs and decided the maximum protection Depends were my best shot. While I was there, I also picked up some briefs for daytime use. And more chocolate for Megan, even though I’d just given her some on Sunday.
A downside of the drug store was they only had translucent plastic bags, not paper sacks. It was obvious what I was carrying as I hauled them back to the dorms, but 10:15 was apparently the right time to be returning with them: the few people about didn’t seem to take notice or care. After putting away my items and retrieving my laundry, I went to class.

When I returned to my room at the end of the day, The Clan was waiting for me. I dropped my stuff on my bed, extracted some photocopies I had made, and we were off to dinner.
As we were walking, I gave Tim and Dale copies of the plans I’d sketched up. When Tim realized what they were, he returned them. “Sorry, Li, I’ve got plans of my own to focus on,” he explained. Dale, on the other hand, was happy to discuss plans, despite being on the vacuum team. I supplemented the sheet with a description of how I envisioned it working. Dale thought it was a cool idea.
After dinner, The Clan dispersed because everyone needed to study. Kei was studying economics tonight; after making my bed, I was reading A&P again. And it was still a bitch.

I put on one of the new diapers after dilating, before bed. Once it was taped on, it fit more snugly and crinkled more than the briefs; somehow, it seemed cozier. As I turned out the light, I noticed the chocolate set aside for Megan. It was too late to bring it to her, so instead I fell asleep thinking about her, about sharing a kiss with her.
I woke Wednesday wonderfully refreshed: I’d slept all the way through the night, uninterrupted by dilation or a wet bed. It was the first time since the catheter had been removed over a month ago that I’d slept through the night. ‘You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone,’ I’d heard said, and I now appreciated uninterrupted sleep.
With the follow-up meeting on bathroom access scheduled for 10:00, I chose the same professional-looking outfit I’d worn last week. I even put on a touch of make-up.

As Abnormal let out, I felt like a lamb lead to the slaughter. If I hadn’t won last week, I couldn’t possibly win this week.
I arrived on time, was ushered in, and greeted Big E politely again. “How are you this week?”
“I’m fine, and you?”
“I don’t know– you tell me?”
“Well, I received a glowing recommendation on your behalf from Mr. Baker at the counseling center. He seems to think you are quite the intelligent and reasonable young lady.” She paused, waiting for me to respond, but I wasn’t sure what to say so I stayed silent. “In light of this, your improved interpersonal skills, and other considerations, you are approved to use the women’s rooms on campus.” I felt the tension in my body dissolve as she spoke. “On the condition that the unofficial compromise in your residence hall stays in place, and becomes policy. Is that acceptable?”
First I panicked because they knew about the compromise, but then realized they hadn’t labeled it as a problem. Next I spent a few seconds trying to figure out the catch, loophole, or hidden problem in what she’d said, but there wasn’t one. Finally, the realization put me into a stunned silence; I hadn’t expected to win after last week. I realized after a few seconds I should say something, so I muttered, “Dai… Ah… Yes! Yes, ma’am, it’s acceptable. Where do I sign?”
She laughed. “There is nothing for you to sign. Campus Security has been notified, in case there are any concerns. As this is a change in policy, we discussed the possibility of a news release to raise awareness and minimize unnecessary calls reporting your use of the women’s rooms. However, I don’t feel that’s necessary– the reports I’ve received suggest you now ‘fit in’ with the rest of the women adequately that there shouldn’t be an issue. Unless, possibly, you persist in passionately kissing women openly in the courtyards.” She stared at me, an eyebrow raised.
I could see the curiosity on her face. I let out a small laugh, and asked, “You heard about that then?” She nodded but continued to stare, so I explained Megan’s idea, indicating that so far it was working.
“I suspected there was more to this story than I’d heard,” she said when I finished, and went on to lecture me about representing myself.
Despite the kiss, I received a green light. “Best of luck, Ms. Calder,” she sounded sincere as she shook my hand. Big E had supplied an official letter stating what she’d said verbally, with extra legalese to back out if I did something ridiculous, like peer over stall walls or solicit dates in the washroom. There was also a short form on University letterhead that granted permission to use “all campus women’s rooms with the exception of Robertson Hall, sixth floor north, until further notice”, which I was supposed to carry on my person for the next several weeks in case anyone confronted me, not that it was likely to happen.
“And Lisa”, she said as I opened the door to leave. I turned back to look at her; she thought for a moment before speaking. “Remember… that you’re not the only cog in the machine.”
I wandered out of the building, stunned by victory, and made my way on autopilot toward the nearest unisex bathroom to change before class. When I realized where I was going, I changed course to OS Engineering: I could just use the bathroom there.
“I won,” I finally said out loud, monotone. Speaking it out loud made it more real; “I won!” I repeated to myself. And then I felt it, and I was running down the sidewalk like a crazy woman, screaming “I won!” at everyone I saw.
I had won.

Re: Robertson Hall, ch 7 ~ 8

Great chapter. Sorry we are going to have to wait a month to see where Lisa goes from here, but it is a small price to pay for such excellent writing.

Re: Robertson Hall, ch 7 ~ 8

@junyour: Thanks for the kind comments. Although when I’m “in the groove” I write as a way to express a creative aspect, it’s a struggle to push through when I hit a tough spot. So it helps me feel that the effort to push through the writer’s block is worth it. Thanks!

Re: Robertson Hall, ch 7 ~ 8

Another excellent chapter, keep up the good work

Robertson Hall, ch 9

Chapter 9: Fiasco
Having finally attained approval to use the women’s room, that’s what I did. Just as I was stepping into a new brief, I heard someone else enter. That’s when I began to wonder if it was such a victory after all; the unisexes were single service and afforded more privacy. But at least I had the right, which was the important part.

I ran into Daniel later in the day on the way home. “Hey Dan. How’s school so far?”
“This is way harder than high school. I’ve got to actually study.” It was a familiar problem, and I’d heard No Child Left Behind only made it worse: compliance was achieved by slowing to the pace of the slowest individual. “But I am keeping up,” Dan finished.
“How do you like UNIX?” I thought the freshman were still working on it.
“It’s different… it’s weird having to work on the command line so much.” We got into a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of systems, while I tried to sell him on the Mac and invited him up to tinker with Valerie to see how he liked it. He took me up on the offer, so when we got to my room I created a guest account on Val, pointing out to Dan how easy the UI was as I went, then switched users and let him drive. “While you play, I’m gonna go change.”
“Okay.” I grabbed a brief, but then realized the world didn’t need to know what I was doing, so I set it down and started unloading my backpack. “How do I get this console to work? It won’t let me type, it’s just displaying messages,” Dan asked, turning around.
“Um…” I said, looking over to see he was using Console. “Wrong application, you want Terminal. In Applications, Utilities folder,” I said as I packed the brief, powder, and wipes into my backpack. As I zipped it shut and went to leave, I realized he was staring at me. “What?”
“You’re… Do you know what T. B. is?”
“No, actually,” I said after thinking a moment. It was surprising; I knew most of the UNIX commands, even if I didn’t know how to use them all. “But you can just ‘man tb’ for the manual page.” As I went out the door, a possibility stuck me. “Unless you mean ‘tbl’, which is the table formatter for Troff. The text formatter.”

When I got back, Dan was getting ready to leave. “I just remembered something, I’ve got to run… uh, I’ve got an appointment. I’m meeting someone.”
“Okay. If you ever want to play on the Mac some more, stop up. See ya!”
He scooted off, so I logged out the guest and deleted the account. After putting on some Manhattan Transfer– I had a hankering for Birdland– I sat down to study.

“Down the stairs, lose your cares– where—? Down in BirdLand.
Total swing, Bop was King– there—. Down in BirdLand.
Bird would cook, Max would look– where—? Down in BirdLand.
Miles came through, 'Trane did too– there—. Down in Birdland,” I sang along. I wasn’t studying very effectively, so I gave up and starting dancing. I’m pretty sure Kei found it strange when he walked in a little later. He didn’t dance, or so he said, so I grabbed his hand– ‘Left is Lead’, I remembered– and tried to lead for him. From the look on his face, he was now certain I was crazy, but he nevertheless went along with it.
When the song was over and I’d released him, he said, “You seem happy today.”
“Did I mention I won?” I grabbed papers from my desk and waived them at him.
“Go you,” he said, taking the papers and reading. He was right, I was happy.

Everyone had studying to do, so after a friendly but uninteresting celebratory dinner with The Clan, we split up for the evening.
The rest of the week went by quickly. Friday featured one episode of Battlestar– Chris gave up half-way through the single episode– before Bert had had enough. “Enough with the bad sci-fi. We need a change,” he said as the credits rolled. “I’ll be right back.” Two minutes later he was back, Chris in tow, carrying a DVD. Kei popped the disc in his laptop, and Bert turned off the lights as Dawn of the Dead started.

Saturday afternoon, the scoop-and-hopper robotic subcommittee got together to hash out ideas. Sean, a mechanical engineer, had sketched up some blueprints of a plan similar to mine; nobody else had come up with anything.
“Very interesting, Mr. Sean,” said Roger, emulating a Bond film, as he and Kasuga reviewed Sean’s blueprint.
Sean, meanwhile, was looking over my ideas. “Yes, it is,” he agreed with Roger, although he was looking at my schematic along with Kate. “What’s this note about the third hopper?” he asked, pointing to some scribbles.
“That hopper acts as an input buffer. The scoop dumps the stuff in, and it gravity feeds into the sorting mechanism while the scoop can be busy picking up more.”
“Why this conveyor system?” asked Kate, an EE like Roger. “Wouldn’t it be simpler to raise the hopper and shovel the stuff directly into it?”
“Top-heaviness, plus the conveyor ensures only one item goes into the sorter at a time.”
“Top heaviness isn’t a problem– the base will be heavy, with the batteries and drive motors. Kate, take a look at mine,” Sean suggested. “It’s similar to what you just said. But this conveyor might be less complicated for controlling flow. I like it.”
As Kate went to look at the other plans, Roger came over. “Tell me, Q, how does this gadget of yours work?”
“I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you,” I went along. He smiled at my participation. “We need to either sort on size, shape, color, or weight. And one case will always be a ping-pong ball, so…” I launched into a description of how I envisioned it working.
Soon the team was moving forward, kit-bashing the two ideas together and taking the best of both. Realizing I couldn’t contribute, I interrupted long enough to let them know I was going to go work on the software side of things. “We’ll meet again, Mr. Roj,” I directed at Roger.
“See you in the sequel, Li,” said Roger, out-of-character for the moment, grinning.
I mulled over the memory manager I had committed to as I wandered home. It was necessary for any “real” OS, but it didn’t solve everything. There were no debuggers on embedded systems, and the emulator tools sucked. If we could test and debug the code outside the lab, it would make things a lot easier. And the development cycles would be faster, because we wouldn’t be dicking around downloading firmware.
Kei was relaxing back at the room, reading Fellowship of the Ring. I didn’t want to disturb him, so I put The Cure’s Head on the Door on headphones and laid down to think.

While the Clan was gathering to go to brunch together Sunday morning, I took the opportunity to deliver the latest round of chocolate to Megan and invite her along. Today, she was hesitant. “I appreciate the offer, but…” She thought for a moment. “After last week, I don’t want to give you the wrong idea, to lead you on. What do you see between us?”
I had to think before responding. “I can’t deny that kissing you was…” I selected my words. “Passionate and tender and wonderful. If I was still on testosterone, I’d probably be driven to pursue you. But now, it’s not that I don’t feel something, but I’m aware you don’t return it, so I accept that what we have is a friendship. If you change your mind in the future…” I shrugged, “I’d be honored to date you. But without testosterone, finding you attractive doesn’t mean I need to try to seduce you. I actually get the possibility of ‘let’s just be friends’ that guys always bitch about, because they can’t understand it.”
She thought on that for a bit, but didn’t say anything, so I continued. “Anyway, you’re new to my life, but you’re already a fantastic friend. You’ve done so much for me: the frats have kept their traps shut for the last week, you supported me with Kimmy, and it’s great to have someone who isn’t a complete nerd with The Clan.”
She cracked a smile. “‘Come eat with us nerds’ is not always a good advertising strategy,” she observed.
“No,” I laughed, “but chocolate is,” I held up the chocolate, “and if that’s what’s needed to avoid hitting critical mass of nerdiness and preventing the inevitable singularity, I’m willing to doing my part for the survival of humanity, and possibly the universe itself,” I finished melodramatically. I wasn’t sure she got it entirely, but she was grinning, so I continued, “And it could happen if The Clan ever merged with Andy-tachi.” I switched to a stern voice to finish, “So take the chocolate and come to lunch with us.”
She laughed and asked, “Can Natalia come too?” Natalia was her roommate, a new-to-our-school transfer student from some former Soviet-block country. I wasn’t sure which; they all sound the same to me.
“Then yes.” She took the chocolate, and I returned to my room.

I had to imagine Megan had arranged things, because as we left the building Megan took one arm just as Natalia took the other. They even matched– not exact clothes, but similar style blouses and knee-length flowing skirts. I did the only reasonable thing one can do under such circumstances, which was to smile and go along with it.
As we passed the frats, I couldn’t help smiling at their gawking stares. I’d had a sex change, and now I was a stud, or at least seemed to be the lesbian equivalent of one, and surely it tormented their little heterosexist brains.
From somewhere among their ranks, someone yelled “Dykes!” quite loudly, and all of us– save Natalia– cracked up. Natalia was instead looking confused.

“What izz dykes? Why izz dykes funny?” Natalia asked in her accent as we queued in the brunch line.
“Lesbians.” Natalia stared into space with a look of concentration.
“Hot girl-on-girl action,” Chris tried.
“Like Ellen Degeneres,” Jane suggested.
“Martina Navratilova, like zis?”
“Who?” someone asked while I nodded and said, “Yes.”
Natalia thought again before asking, “Zey tsink we are zeese dykes?” She looked upset. “I can no be zis dyke because zhe is a boy,” she said, pointing to me.
I had a sinking feeling that we’d just done something very bad.

Re: Robertson Hall, ch 10

Chapter 10: Clean Up
Natalia wasn’t grasping our explanations of what had happened, and tensions were escalating. We eventually had to dequeue from the lunch line and return to the lobby to hammer out just what had gone wrong. There had been a serious cock-up.
The root of Natalia’s confusion was my gender. She had missed the floor meeting where it was discussed, and so the word-of-mouth news combined with language and cultural barriers left her with the impression that I was a cross-dresser of sorts.
Megan had, as I suspected, encouraged Natalia to accompany me to breakfast because I was being harassed on the basis of my gender. Natalia, thinking I was a boy that just liked to wear skirts, thought this was an attempt to establish my sexual orientation to avoid unwanted advances from the frat boys. Bizarre as cross-dressing seemed to her, avoiding a homosexual designation made sense in her eyes, or at least that’s the sense we were getting at of our end of the language barrier. In helping me to get rid of the stigma, as she seemed to perceive it, she was now tagged with it.
There had been no way to predict our being called ‘dykes’. With the various diversity campaigns on campus, and another frat being banned on the basis of homophobic activity, epithets of these kinds were whispered or thought but not yelled outright. Even when they were harassing me it usually happened in the form of snide comments, critiques of my appearance as a woman, or comments about the validity of my gender identity; sometimes, it took the form of intentionally loud discussions between them that could have been argued to just be a discussion.
Since all previous harassment had been rooted in some way to my former maleness, who would have expected them to suddenly accept my womanhood? Which was bizarre to think about, because having ‘dyke’ yelled at me was a step up, a sign I’d been accepted in my new gender. Although this normally might have pleased me, I instead felt guilty because Natalia had been hurt while trying to help me.
Once the problem was understood, we were able to correct the misunderstanding regarding my gender. Explaining how Megan and Natalia on my arms would prevent harassment was a problem, though, because concluding we were lesbians was the logical outcome if we were affectionate and I was female. Only if you considered me male, as the hoax relied on the frat boys thinking, did you end up in a logical impasse: if I was a cross-dresser, I needed to be harassed, except I had two strong, confident, sexy women hanging on my arms, which meant I couldn’t, and shouldn’t, be harassed.
We did our best to defuse the screwed up situation, but Natalia still seemed upset after we’d done our best. I hoped this wouldn’t create a major rift between Megan and Natalia.
We requeued for brunch, but after we got our food Natalia stormed off to eat with other friends, or at least some people that weren’t us.

After a subdued lunch, we left the dining hall to return to Robertson. Megan was feeling glum, thinking she was responsible for the miscommunication. “It’s not your fault, Megan.” I said, rubbing her back as we walked. “You couldn’t possibly know that Natalia completely misunderstood my gender.”
“I know, but I shouldn’t have involved her at all. This was my stupid mission.”
“I don’t think it’s a stupid mission. And even if it is, I appreciate it, because it’s made my life better. Even if I do get called a dyke now.” The comment didn’t even get a smile; she must have been feeling really bad. I put my arm around her and pulled her hip against mine as we walked.
The frat boys were out, now loading some meat onto a barbecue grill they’d fired up. As we walked past there was a conspicuous silence, like they knew they’d stepped over the line.
When we made it back to the floor, I accompanied Megan to her room. “Would you like me to stay for a bit?” I asked once we were inside.
“You don’t need to,” she said, looking unhappy.
“I don’t need to, but would you like me to?” She looked up at me, and I saw tears in her eyes. “Oh Megan,” I said, and wrapped my arms around her and rubbed her back, prompting her to open up and start crying. We stood there for a while, her in my arms, before sitting down on the bed and repositioning so she could cry on my shoulder.

Megan seemed a lot better after crying; since being on estrogen, it’s a thing I understood: almost like the brain could convert excess emotion– not just sadness, heartbreak, or pain but also guilt, anger, frustration, or even happiness– into liquid form and pump it out the lacrimal ducts. “Thanks,” she said with a stuffy-nose tone in her voice as she wiped the remaining tears from her eyes.
“You’re welcome.” We were still sitting on the bed, now just holding hands and looking at each other. There was a long pause.
“You’re a good friend,” she finally said, then took another tissue and blew her nose.
“As are you. Maybe now’s the time for some of that chocolate?” I got a smile out of her as she stood up and rummaged through her desk drawer. She broke off two pieces of chocolate and handed one to me. “Thanks,” I said. “You gonna be okay?” I asked before taking a bite. She just smiled and nodded.
She had work to do, and I was late for D&D with The Clan, so a little while later I gave her a hug good-bye and left.

D&D flew by, as it always seemed to; Tim was an excellent DM. A Rules Lawyer would have hated him, because he took the rules more as guidelines and made up a lot of it as he want along. When I’d seen people play in high school, games had always seemed bogged down with looking up rules in books; the fluidity under Tim made it enjoyable. Except for the mages and spell management, but that was unavoidable.
After we broke for the day, I checked on Megan and asked if she wanted to join us for dinner. She seemed more upbeat, but still declined my invitation. “Thanks, but I think I’ll go a little later.”
After dinner, the weekend was over and it was back to the grind of studying and classes.

On Monday night Tim, Dale, and I went together to robotics team. “How’s team claw-and-sensor?” I asked Tim.
“Well, that depends. We think the first two phases are straightforward, but we haven’t fully worked out how to handle sorting. Size would be easy, since we can just detect when the claw closes on the object. Weight might pose a problem, depending on how distinct the two different weights are. Shape is the hardest, but we have some ideas to try out. How about your teams?”
Dale spoke first. “We didn’t have a meeting, just exchanged e-mail, and they just want to use last year’s design until they know more.”
“Our group had two similar ideas, and the rest of the team was trying to pick the best parts of each one when I left.”

“Tell me, baby: what’s a brainy skirt like you doin’ in a dirty joint like 'dis?” Roger was doing film noir when we arrived.
The best I could manage was a breathy, “I’m lookin’ for a man to help me with a problem,” running my hands through my hair and taking a dramatic pose.
“What sort’a problem?”
“I’m buildin’ a robot, and I need a solenoid.”
It went downhill from there.

Dale, Kraus, and I clustered in the back of the room hashing out a software architecture while the 3 hardware groups presented what each had come up with. It didn’t take long to settle on the new-and-improved scoop-and-hopper system that was similar to Sean’s original plans, but added the third hopper and conveyor from my concept. They began sorting out construction priorities and assignments.
By the time they were done, we had the software architecture sorted so it was our turn to make a presentation. There were a few questions, and it was obvious a few people thought we were creating unnecessary complexity, but everyone seemed to think it was workable. As the meeting broke up, the three of us discussed who was responsible for which components.
Roger interrupted us, “I see you kids still need to bump gums, plan for the gig. One of you goons gonna escort the dame back home?”
“This lug brought me in,” I said, nodding toward Dale. “He’ll take make back to my perch.”
For a moment, I thought I read disappointment on Roger’s face. “You take care of her,” he said, “She’s a good bird. I gotta get me some shuteye. See you kids on the flip side.” He tipped an imaginary hat and left.
We finished delegating and followed suit.

Re: Robertson Hall, ch 7 ~ 10

A drama-free episode-- for once the characters get to have fun instead of experience turbulence and awkward situations (Yay!). Enjoy!

Chapter 11: Megan

The rest of the week passed quickly; the most interesting event was when Megan came by on Thursday and asked if she could study in our room. I invited her in, suspecting her visit was a result of lingering roommate tensions, and offered her the desk since I had been reading on the bed anyway.
She looked around the room, checking things out; I realized it was the first time she’d been in the room without The Clan present and without imminent dinner plans. I positioned myself crosswise on the bed so my back was against to the wall. “There’s pop in the fridge if you want one,” I said, pointing to the mini fridge beneath Kei’s desk.
“Thanks,” she said before looking in the fridge and taking out a ginger ale. “Do you want anything?”
“Sure… Is there root beer left?” She handed me one, then went back to checking out the room. I popped the lid, and when I looked back up I she was pointing at my diapers.
After an awkward silence, she asked, “Surgical complication?”
I sighed. “Yeah. Temporary.”
“Is it difficult?”
“Dealing with it? Not really, kind of a nuisance at times. I’ve gotten used to it.”
She scrunched up her face. “It is just…” Then she shook her head, and said “Nevermind.”
“No, it’s just urinary,” I said, reading between the lines. I saw relief pass across her face as she looked around the room some more. “Is the music okay?” I had some Bananarama playing quietly.
“Sure. Mind if I join you?” It was rhetorical, apparently; she just sat down next to me and made herself comfy next to me. I wasn’t about to object.

Friday Chris and Bert proactively vetoed Battlestar while we were still at dinner. Jane offered The Rocky Horror Picture Show as an alternative– she’d seen a poster indicating it ran the last Friday of each month. The show ran at 21:30– the theater running it didn’t do midnight showings– so there was just enough time to get into some proper Rocky Horror dress before heading out.
After we’d notified some of the cooler people on the floor, we split up to get dressed. After looking through my stuff, I decided to change my look. I went to Dale and Chris to ask a favor.
I ended up having to use one of my own blouses because Dale’s shirts were tight on my growing (and therefore sensitive) breasts, and Chris’s were too baggy. But Dale’s suit fit nicely; apparently they’d made accommodations for growth when sizing the expensive part of the outfit. I slicked back my hair using KY as hair gel, which I didn’t have. The effect worked: looking in the mirror, I was a man, baby!
As people collected in our room, the reactions were varied. Some people laughed, others just stared, some seemed quite shocked. When Megan walked in, she stopped, her eyebrows went up, and she looked me over. “What’s a fine lad like you doing all alone?” she asked before attaching herself to my arm.
She was wearing a terrible purple dress with her hair pulled partway back; she was clearly going for the Janet look. She even had a small white scrunchy loosely attached in her hair, which managed to resemble the clip Susan Sarandan wore in the movie. The only major departure was a patriotic-looking button above her right breast that read, ‘Lesbian Sluts for Bush.’ I couldn’t help giggling when I read it.
“I have got to get a picture of you two,” interrupted Jane, who was dressed in goth attire. “I’ll be right back.”
Bert arrived, dressed like a zombie, showing off his horror-and-gore fandom. When he saw us, he just whistled. “I don’t know about you sometimes, Li. But you look… wait, wait, wait, wait…” he said as he left the room.
Jane came back, but the room was getting too crowded so we moved to the lounge. Before we’d even managed to get any pictures, Bert found us. “Li, this will be perfect,” and he handed me a small, red bowtie. “I saw it over the summer, and I thought it would be perfect for Brad.” I changed out the necktie I was wearing for the clip-on bowtie.
“Ass-hole,” someone said in a sing-song voice when I was done.
Dale finally arrived carrying a pitchfork-like creation made from a broom handle and a bent-up coat hanger. He’d moulded PlayDoh into penis-style shapes over the splines. He positioned himself next to Jane, holding the pitchfork between them, and verbally captioned the pose: “American Goth.” Megan got a good laugh when she heard the name.
Tim had dressed like Neo out of The Matrix; Keith and Chris put on black jeans and T-shirts. There were several other people from the floor, a few dressed, others in muggle-wear. Someone had persuaded Kimmy and two other ‘virgins’ to come along; they looked intimidated, but people kept reminding them that they needed to see Rocky in a theatre once in their life.
In total we had 4 cars of people from the floor. The show was a blast– some arty folks that were there just about died laughing at ‘American Goth’, and everyone liked the Brad and Janet motif that Megan and I were doing. The handful of fellow students among the cast thought it was the cat’s ass that I of all people had dressed up as Brad, given my history.
Megan clung to my arm the entire night, and we had fun screaming at the movie and Time Warping together. “You’re a lot of fun,” I said to her, my voice hoarse, as I walked her back toward Robertson Hall.
“You are too,” she said. “Would you like some company tonight?”
My heart skipped a beat at the question. “Ah…” I said, while trying to figure out the context: was this a friendly request, a romantic request, or were things with Natalia still on the rocks? I wasn’t sure, so I asked: “Friendly company, or romantic company?”
“Friendly company.”
“Okay, just checking. I’d love some friendly company,” I said, my heart slowing while my body maintained sexual arousal.
I offered Megan my two-piece flannel pajamas, but she declined. I took the opportunity to dilate while she took off make-up, brushed teeth, and changed into night clothes of her own. When she knocked softly on the door and came in, I quickly removed the stent and set it down.
“Oh! Would you like a little privacy?” she asked when she saw it.
“It’s not necessary, but if it makes you uncomfortable…” I waited to see how she’d react before continuing. She stepped outside and closed the door.
I cleaned myself up as quickly as I could, then put on a diaper and nightgown. I grabbed my toiletries bucket and went to the bathroom to get ready for bed myself. I found Megan waiting outside the door; she entered as I went out. As I brushed my teeth, I appreciated her giving me privacy– even if she already knew about my diapers, it would have been awkward to put one on in front of her.
She was in bed when I returned, so I climbed over her to take the wall side and slipped under the sheets; she rolled over to face me and shifted a little, trying to get comfortable. When she settled down we were both on our sides, cuddling with legs intermingled, facing each other so we looked into each other’s eyes. She reached over and ran her fingernails lightly up and down my back, calming but also very erotic; I didn’t say anything, not wanting to damage the friendship or the moment. I returned the favor, going slightly harder and in circular patterns that elicited noises of happiness.
I could hear Kei breathing deeply on his side of the room as we laid there in silence. I started to cramp, but ignored it; eventually, Megan whispered, “I’ve gotta move,” so we both shifted onto our backs with me against the cold wall.
Two people in a twin bed is not comfortable, I decided; it is just too small. I laid there for a long time before I eventually heard the slow, soft breathing that indicated Megan was sleeping. I matched her breathing, trying to relax myself, and soon I was asleep too.

Saturday after breakfast Bert demanded we get some exercise and outdoor time, so he dragged us to the track for some jogging and Frisbee; Megan joined us. She was hanging with us more and more, and starting to become part of The Clan.
It was in the upper-20s, warm for mid-September. “It’s a beautiful day,” Megan said as we went back to the floor at 13:00. “I’m studying outside today. Does anyone want to join me?”
It seemed like an uncomfortable prospect, but it was nice out, something it would not be soon enough. “Sure,” I said; Jane, Dale, and Bert also agreed. “Where do you want to go?”
“Just in the quad. Bring a towel to lay on.”
“I always carry my towel,” Dale commented. “I’m that kind of hoopy frood.”
Thinking of potential disasters, I changed out of my now-wet brief and into a diaper. I had a skort that covered up any visual evidence, although the stretch waistband was snug and required finagling to get it over my diapered hips. I retained the sports bra I was already wearing, covering it with a Valkyrie Yuuki “Got Breasts?” T-shirt.
I was conscious of the diaper crinkling whenever I moved, but reminded myself it was better than potential leaks. We gathered at the elevator and went to the quad. Others had the same idea; the few picnic tables were already in use. We staked out a spot in the sun and laid down.
Jane was wearing a halter; Megan took off her shirt to expose a black bikini top. After a little while, I got up the courage to take off my T-shirt; the sun on my back felt good. A bit later, Megan reached back and unclipped her bikini top; this seemed to create some attention. When Jane notice, she harrumphed in disapproval.

An hour or so later, a table freed up and Bert claimed it. I was starting to get sore on the ground, so I decided to join him. As I stood up, Megan asked me to clip her bikini. After I obliged, she put her book down, turned face-up, and closed her eyes for a nap. It seemed like an even better idea than the table, so I laid back down and joined her.
At 15:00, Jane woke us, afraid we were going to burn; it probably didn’t matter because the shadows soon grew across the quad. We lost the light and went back inside at 15:30.
“Hussies”, Jane directed at Megan and me as we rode the lift back to sixth floor. It didn’t phase me, but Megan seemed unsure what to do– Clan members didn’t usually treat each other like this.
I held Megan back as the lift opened, letting Jane and Dale get ahead. “She’s just a prude. Don’t let it bother you,” I suggested. “It’s not a serious insult, more like venting that she feels repressed.”
“Ah… Okay,” she acknowledged.
Bert was hanging back too. “You two were getting checked out.”
“Were we?” Megan smiled. “You’re moving up in the world,” she kidded me. I smiled at the thought, even though I was certain it was Megan that was getting most of the attention.

Sunday was rainy, a good day for studying and D&D; Monday featured my first Abnormal exam.
I had to scramble to get a release of ValOS together for robotics team Monday night. Developer documentation needed work, but that would have to wait a week. I supplied what I had to Dale, Kraus, Roger, and Jimbo, promising to deliver documentation next week.
Dale had taken on what I thought was a nasty chunk– dealing with the video input and detecting the objects, and had focused on research so he didn’t have anything to show yet. Kraus was working on ‘the consciousness’, as we’d titled it, which contained the algorithms that would take the ball position data and decide where to move and when to scoop. It also had to monitor hopper fullness and decide when to dump, coordinating hopper loading while doing so. It sounded like a lot, but I suspected it was all straightforward.

“Do you belong to the GLBT Fellowship?” Megan asked while she was studying on my bed on Thursday. Time seemed to be sliding by faster and faster as the semester went on and workloads grew.
“I used to,” I said, looking up from the paper on forms of schizophrenia I was writing for Abnormal, “but I haven’t been lately. The issues aren’t exactly the same for me, and as much as they’re well-meaning, I don’t find it useful. Not anymore, at least.”
“Huh,” she said, looking thoughtful. After a moment, I turned back to my paper.

Re: Robertson Hall, ch 7 ~ 11

Another fun episode! And it’s October!

Chapter 12: Dancing
Kei went home for the weekend, and since he was the major proponent of Battlestar Galactica, we didn’t even consider it. Megan suggested going dancing, which sounded fun to Jane and me; Dale’s resistance fell to Jane’s, “C’mon, don’t be such a fuddy-duddy.” Chris and Bert refused and bowed out, talking about Shaun of the Dead while it was still in theaters, while Tim succumbed to peer pressure.
While we were getting dressed, Megan ran into April and invited her along. Kimmy, who was passing by, heard the word ‘dance’ and asked if she could come too. Neither of them had the heart to turn her down.
Kimmy missed the part about it being dancing with The Clan, so she was surprised to find us all conglomerating in the elevator lounge at 21:45. Tim was the last to arrive; he cleaned up nicely when taken out of jeans and a T-shirt. “April, Kimmy. Are you joining us on this festive outing?” he asked, aiming for an upper-class attitude to match the ironed white shirt, black pants with suspenders, and black sports jacket he was wearing.
“We are,” April replied.
“Well, if you fine ladies are without companions, I would be glad to escort you to a chariot,” he said. I hadn’t expected him to have it in him, but here he was, being suave with the ladies. With one on each of his arms, we all piled into the lift.

“I wanna go see horror movie
I wanna date with Christopher Lee
I wanna go see a horror movie
And down on Elm Street we’ll have a party,” we sang along to the chorus of Lords of Acid’s Horror Movie. April and Tim were “dancing together”, as much as anybody does in a night club; Dale and Jane, and Kimmy and some guy she’d found were also paired up. Megan and I were intermittently dancing together, with the two couples, and with random other people or couples on the floor.
Cruel Summer came on presently, but it wasn’t Bananarama. I listened for a moment before deciding it had the strong, steady 4-beat rhythm perfect for the Hustle. I took Megan’s right hand in my left, and tried leading. It had been a while, and I made some mistakes at first, but it came back quickly.
Half-way through the song I lead an arm-slide to escape a rotating promenade, but before I could spin around and get the hands right again, Megan did. She grabbed my right hand and started leading.
After Cruel Summer the music segued into DJ Sammy’s Heaven, which was too fast for formal dance, so we fell back to freestyle. It was a few more songs before some undanceable crap finally came on– I once heard that DJs mix in crap so people will stop dancing and buy drinks– whereupon we left the dance floor, bought some drinks and went out onto the patio for a breather. We immediately turned around and came back in, because the no indoor smoking ordinance had pushed all the smokers onto the patio. Overall, though, dancing was a heck of a lot more fun now that I could breathe effectively while doing it.
“Where did you learn to dance? It doesn’t seem like your kind of interest,” Megan yelled over the sound system.
“First year gym glass. I figured I’d get chicks there.”
“Did it work?”
“No. Not then, anyway,” I said. People of both sexes had seemed a lot more willing to dance with me tonight than they ever had before.

‘Abba?’ I thought, ‘And not Dancing Queen?’ Megan was still relaxing, and Dale was rejecting Jane’s attempts to drag him onto the floor. “Guard this,” I said, setting my drink down next to Megan, then went to offer my hand to Jane.

“Mamma mia… Here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia… Does it show again
Just how much I missed you?” We shifted side-to-side to the vague rhythm in open position during the chorus– I didn’t dare try closed position with Jane– and as the beat kicked back in I lead a rock-step, inside turn, and followed her through the arch in a she-goes, he-goes. Except the move’s title didn’t fit anymore.
On the other side of the dance floor, Tim looked like he was trying to dance like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. It wasn’t quite right, and looked kind of stiff, but he was having fun and April and some other girl he’d picked up seemed to be enjoying themselves too.

Apparently the DJ thought that since Abba was retro, he’d make a whole retro set, but the cross-fade into AWB’s Got the Love didn’t work musically. I lead Jane back to Dale, saying “Thank you for sharing,” as I offered her back.
I grabbed my cola, downed the rest, and invited Megan back onto the floor. On the other side, I saw Tim playing dumb, looking back and forth at the two women like he couldn’t choose. As I put my arm around Megan and began to sway to the funk, I saw April put an arm around Tim and use her free arm to make an inviting gesture toward his other side. And sure enough, when I saw them again, they were doing a sort of 3-way slow dance.
Dale and Jane were back on the floor, too; Kimmy was sitting out, having danced through the earlier crap and probably badly in need of hydration and a rest.

‘This was a bad idea’, I thought to myself as I slow danced with Megan. The feeling of her body against mine and the hints of her scent I could pick out amongst the sweat and club smells were not conducive to staying just friends.
The next song up was some old funk that I didn’t know, but was still, well, funky. Thankfully, it was slightly faster and gave me an excuse to detach from Megan and go back to freestyle before I fell in love.

We stayed until closing. As Megan, Dale, Jane, and I walked out of the club, we found Tim talking with his second dance partner. “It’s just that I’m still in school,” he was saying, “and I don’t have time for a relationship. Really, you seem very attractive, and I had a great time dancing tonight, but I don’t want to lead you on with a possibility that isn’t going to happen,” he said, sounding exasperated.
It didn’t seem like a good thing to interrupt, so we walked on and joined April, who was leaning against a tree a little way down the street waiting for us. “How can he get so stressed exchanging phone numbers?” she asked. Dale shook his head, Jane shrugged, and I did a combination of the two.
Kimmy arrived momentarily, escorted by one of the guys she’d been dancing with– she’d had several partners over the night– and accepted his phone number. I was pretty sure she was under 21, but she seemed a little unstable on her feet; I wondered if she’d been drinking the good stuff. April seemed to notice, too, so she took Kimmy’s arm after the gentleman left.
Dale and Tim were hungry, but the rest of us wanted sleep, so the men went off together in search of food while the rest of us went back in my car. ‘Don’t puke in my car,’ I willed at Kimmy, who was squished in between Jane and April in the back seat; thankfully, she didn’t.
We said our goodnights in the elevator, and April escorted Kimmy away while Megan walked with me to 605. “Sleepover?” she asked.
“Sure,” I couldn’t resist. I considered shifting the beds together, but then I’d have to move the desk, which in turn required unplugging things, so I skipped it. “One bed or two?” I asked as I unlocked in the room.
The question broke the enchantment of the evening; Megan sighed as the happiness on her face changed to resignation. “Two is probably best,” she said. “I’ll go get ready for bed.” I had to scramble and cut dilation a little short to get ready before she got back, but managed it. As she climbed into Kei’s bed, I went to remove my own make-up and get ready for bed.

I awoke to the click of the door latch as Megan came into the room. It was bright outside. “What time is it?” I groaned, stretching to wake myself up.
“11:15,” she answered. “Shall we get some lunch?” she asked, taking off my extra pajamas that she was wearing.
I sat up and yawned. “Sure. I need an hour to get ready.”
She sighed. “Woman, you take way too long.” She seemed impatient, so I guessed she was hungry; I was too. “I’ll be in my room when you’re ready,” she said as she left.
An hour later, Megan and I went to lunch with Jane, Dale, Clarisse, and Jake. I had run into Jane on my way to the shower; she had woken up late too. Clarisse and Jake were friends and classmates of Megan.
Since four of us were suffering ‘club lag’, Clarisse and Jake lead the conversation during lunch. They were excited about a Degas exhibit featuring both painted works and bronzed replicas of the corresponding wax studies. Megan was, of course, interested in the opportunity to see one of the master’s works; Jane seemed sold by the discussion, and so Dale was in too. Although I generally don’t appreciate paintings I do like statues– and Megan’s interest was compelling too. We made plans for a road trip next Saturday.
Realizing that a road trip would eat into study time next weekend, I buckled down and studied the rest of the afternoon.

Megan wasn’t around at dinnertime, so The Clan (sans Keith) went to dinner together, where we were joined by the PCers. “Andy, how’s it going?” I asked as the alpha-dog of their group sat down diagonal from me.
“I’m doing just fine, Lisa. Actually, I had something I wanted to ask you about. You know about the ISEC right?”
“Intercollegiate Software Engineering Competition, ISEC. I’m going to be leading the team, and I thought of you as an excellent resource for the system software side of things. Would you be interested?”
“No can do, Andy. My plate is full with the robotics competition; I’m doing the embedded system on the 'bot.”
Bert cut in. “I’ve been thinking about the ISEC.”
“How much system software background do you have?” Andy asked as they launched into discussion of the competition and Bert’s qualifications.
Meanwhile, Dale was discussing the robot’s vision subsystem with Victor. “Check with Sandy, the grad student teaching 101 this semester,” Victor was saying. “Her dissertation involves facial recognition. It’s not exactly the same thing, but she might be able to direct you somewhere.”
“Thanks for the pointer.”
Eventually, Andy agreed that Bert was a good match for the ISEC team, pending approval by the faculty advisor. “Where did we lose Daniel to?” he asked, looking around. “He was with us coming through the line.”

“Well, shit.” Bert had suggested the two Kill Bill movies, so we’d all returned to my room to watch them.
“What’s the matter?”
“We don’t have a DVD player. It’s in Keith’s laptop, which is with him.”
“We can use mine,” Chris resolved, so everyone piled back out of my room and down the hall.
I made it through 45 minutes of the violent film before I felt sleep coming on. I was getting bored with the killing, I’d seen the movie before anyway, and the late night Friday was catching up with me, so I excused myself to get some sleep.

Re: Robertson Hall, ch 7 ~ 12

Another excellent chapter, keep up the good work