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Joshua Bell is amazing

August 7, 2004

i’ve made a realization: press helping is a lot like chem lab. (btw, press helping is a lot like what it sounds like. You’re the assistant to the pressman, and do all the dirty work. Literally…)
Last night I press helped for the first time, and here’s a list of similarties between press helping and chem lab (particularly my chem211 lab):
You show up having heard a lot about it, but not actually knowing much
It’s tiring
You just kinda get thrown in, without many instructions, and have to figure your way through what to do
There isn’t a lot of conversation (hopefully like chem211 this’ll change as time goes by. It did take Andy and I a while to talk much in lab)
You get gooey
You have to wear latex gloves
You get stuff on your clothes
There are all sorts of things you want to take home with you
There are all sorts of things you’d like to eat/put your hand in/etc, and that’s probably not a good idea with any of it. (The time in chem 216 when Pete wanted to eat the PCC powder… And I really really wanna stick my hand in a pot of ink)
Hurry up and wait
It’d be really easy to hurt yourself
It’s intimidating, and you kinda feel like you shouldn’t be there (though this is more because of Ms. J (chem lab) and my childhood experiences at Spectrum (press helping))

I have one thing to say about the biggest part of press helping: loading paper. Ow! I mean, yea, it’s hard to do well, and you get laughed at because it’s one of those things (like making a film bag) that EVERYONE screws up their first few times. But it hurts! Imagine handeling a stack of a hundred sheets of 8.5X11 paper, and stacking them up (glossy paper, at that) repeatedly so that you have something like 3000 sheets there. Now make the paper 19X25 press sheets instead. It’s hard to do well, and their HEAVY! I was wimpy and took piles of about 200 sheets, (the pressmen will do cloes to a thousand at one time) and still it hurt my arms by the time I was done.
It was very interesting, though. Learned a lot about the source of my livelyhood. Funny that the actual printing part of the company is the part I know the least about.

*laughs* anyway. In protest to my state of scrubbyness this week (painting fences, taking out the trash, and press helping aren’t good activities to look nice during), I looked like a real live girl today! Wore nice clothes, shaved my legs, even did my hair! No makeup, but I think if I’d actually managed to leave the house that would have happened.
Now I’m listening to Joshua Bell play violin concerti, and it’s just amazing. I’ve got a CD of him playing the Mendelsson and Beethoven concerti, and I realy don’t have the words to discribe how much I love it. I wish I could play half that well.

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