32 clocks and what I learned from them

Photo of Annet

Annet 17-10-2015 12:24
Recently we received the following idea:
"Een blogpost waarin Annet vertelt over de logistieke implicaties van het verplaatsen van 32 klokken.
*puts on sunglasses*
En hoeveel wijzer ze hiervan geworden is."

Due to the nature of the content I will not literally translate the idea, the pun would be ruined then. Paraphrased, this idea calls for a blog about my adventures of moving 32 clocks, the logistic implications of this and what I have learned from it.

I will first tell you the story of how I, or actually we as board, got the ownership of 32, or in fact 34 clocks. They were a presented, gifted to us by GEWIS, the study association of computer science and mathematics at the university in Eindhoven. The in total 34 clocks, presented to us in the form of a box with 32 of them and 2 separate ones, were all standing still. It were 34 because it was the 34th board of GEWIS that gifted us these presents during our constitutional drinks. They were not working because 'gezelligheid kent geen tijd' (I'm sorry I cannot translated this saying but it means something like 'fun is not time related').

So there it was: a box filled with 32 clocks and covered with GEWIS sticker at the back of 't Golden Fust. The night of our constitutional drinks it found its first home at Maikels place, who was kind enough to house all our presents, because of the proximity of his house to the location of our drinks. He cared for them for a while and made sure nothing was leaking. There all our presents stood until the October sixth when I was the first to visit Maikel to relieve him from the burden. I could not take all and when I had to pick what I would take my choice went to the big, but not too heavy box of clocks.

This was my first trip with the clocks. During this trip I learned that clamming your hand between a backpack and a box is not comfortable. I also experienced a moment of 'how did I end up here?', thinking that I was cycling through Groningen with a box with 32 clocks after hearing the story of the poo in Maikel his ceiling. Even though I have had thoughts like these a variety of times since I started studying (why am I making popcorn at 1 AM while staring frustrated at a black and white screen filled with weird symbols?), I would say that during your board year the weirdness of the actual situations does increase (why am I writing a story about a box with 32 clocks in a train to Nijmegen?).

During the trip to the box's second home, Jelmer's room, it was that the sender of the idea met the box for the first time. I passed his front door behind which the introductory camp pictures were being sorted and I could not resist pressing the big red button. The door was openend and there I stood, with the box. After explaining the situation I moved on to my next obstacle, the (narrow) stairs. From these stairs I learned that putting in a little effort can be pretty rewarding, even though the process of getting it done can be not fun at all.

For a while the clocks lived in Jelmer his closet, on top of the dryer. A warm and comfortable home, that they had so say goodbye to this Tuesday when we had planned our evening of 'unwrapping' gifts from our constitutional drinks. I arrived in an empty room, opened the closet and found out that another box had found its home there and various miscellaneous items as well. This is when I learned how much of your daily live is just puzzles. A puzzle how to figure out where to put everything in order to get a box from a closet but it can also be a puzzle how to plan everything you need to do and everywhere you need to be in the most efficient way (so you don't need to cycle back and forth all the time).

Next up were the stairs, again. Going down proved a little bit harder, because I could not see or feel where my feet had to go. So I decided to go for a creative solution and I put one side of the box on the rail and the other on my shoulder. Luckily I was not wearing my suit otherwise I had completely looked like a mortician.

At the end of the stairs there is a turn where I could not keep the box on the rail anymore. So I lifted up the box and stumbled through the door at the end of the stairs into the corridor - this is how the sender of the idea spotted me for the second time. He had just said goodbye to someone and was standing in his doorway. I stumbled in his direction to say 'hi!' and after some small talk I had to continue my way. However, there was still a (closed) door between me and my bike. It is a door that opens inwards, the corridor is narrow and I needed two hands to carry the box.
From this door I have learned that it is sometimes important to take things one step at the time. I put down the box, opened the door and (not very professionally) shoved the box outside.

The last bike trip I made with the clocks was to Jips house, which was a surprisingly long ride. Once on my bike it not so much a struggle to cycle with the box, it is just big and not heavy or inconveniently shaped (like the other Ikea bags filled with gifts).

It was in Jips room that I said goodbye to the 32 clocks and their box. I adopted three of them and Jip and Jona some. Sanne still wants to give two away, so she is left with 24 clocks . That is why she took the box, with now 26 clocks left (recalculations have shown there were in fact 38 clocks in total, leaving her with 30 instead of 26) home. I also found out that night that I had also carried around fire resistant liquid and a friendship bracelet. Also worth noting, the box did NOT include an ice.

Through out this all, the cycling, the struggling and the unpacking I was often enough reminded of guys that we received this gift from, and how glad I am to have meet them. Thanks GEWIS smile.gif

1. Thoughts like 'how did I end up here?' are not uncommon during your board year and they are usually positive.
2. Putting in effort and being persistent, even though it is not fun can be pretty rewarding.
3. Everything in life can be seen as puzzle and it is fun challenge to solve them.
4. It is sometimes important to take things once step at the time.
5. GEWIS is pretty cool.

Avatar of Kim van Prooijen

Kim van Prooijen 18-11-2015 21:45
Nice story! I'm wondering about one thing though, were all the clock identical? Or was it a bunch of different ones?