"Ignorance isn't only for deep things." -Dragon Lady
Question #15637 posted on 06/10/2005 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My sister and I are working in an office all summer in Germany. At times there is a lot for us to do but during the slow times we struggle with our sanity. How could we make time fly during those times... and not feel guilty for finding our own thing to do when our bosses don't give us anything. Danke!

- die Frauen

A: Dear die Frauen,
I understand your pain completely, as I work as an administrative assistant and sometimes run out of things to do. However, I am good at looking busy. Because you don't have the 100 Hour Board to work on (unlike me, and I probably work on it too much), I'll give you a list of suggestions that I would do if I didn't have the Board as a distraction:

Find some online novels/stories to read. http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, has over 20,000 online books. If you can't find something to read here, I'm sorry.

Practice your German. http://www.funtrivia.com/dir/362.html contains dozens of quizzes/trivia about the English and German language. Might be fun for you to try. Hey, I think I'll bookmark this page and work on it too sometime. I used to take German a long, long time ago, but it has since merged with Spanish, and now I have lost both languages.

Search bored.com. Probably not the best intellectual use of your time, but if you really are bored, go for it.

If you have two computers (and if it is allowed) find some online games and play them against each other. http://games.yahoo.com or games.com are good sites.

Search the LDS.org archive for past conference talks and find a topic you want to study.

Read all the archives on the 100 Hour Board. I especially recommend responses from esteemed past writers like Saurus and PEZkopf.

If you have Photoshop, find a crazy picture of the two of you (or a crazy picture from the Internet) and make it even crazier.

If you haven't already, start writing a journal about your experiences in Germany.

Learn a new skill. Practice the computer programs that you have. Teach yourself how to create formulas in an Excel spreadsheet. Learn how to create tables in Word (or equivalent programs). If there is a program on your computer you don't know how to use, learn how to use it.

Write letters home to friends and/or family.

And if you're like me, you should be studying math and English for the GRE...

Did you also know (shameless Board plug here) that if you are a registered reader to the Board, you have access to a link library where we keep links to writer blogs, fun online references, games, humorous websites, and the like? We also kept links to our site down pages, our holiday pages, and other fun stuff. It's great. Once you register, check it out.

Hopefully those ideas will get you started. Good luck!

- Duchess
A: Dear die Frauen,

~write limericks
~make a rubber-band ball, for use when the boss is not in the room
~get an origami book and decorate the office
~have competitions to see who can stand on her toes the longest
~learn to pass a broom over your entire body without letting go of it
~draw caricatures of co-workers
~memorize poetry
~memorize the Periodic Table
~memorize Gilbert and Sullivan songs
~memorize Animaniacs songs
~memorize how to say "I can eat glass; it does not hurt me" in a wide range of languages (http://www.geocities.com/nodotus/hbglass.html)
~grow wheat grass and herbs in trays underneath the desk lamp
~buy a box of a crayons and use fingernail clippers, newly-sharpened pencils, paper clips, and other small sharp equipment to carve them into miniature totem poles
~make up your own alphabet
~make up your own grammar
~make up your own syllabary
~make up your own language
~write a series of very short stories about living in Germany, for publication up on your return home (assuming that returning home entails leaving Germany -- you never actually said you weren't native)
~hold staring contests
~practice poker faces, lying-on-dates faces, intimidating faces, and other expressions in the mirror of your darkened computer screen
~practice your belly-dancing moves (you can do this sitting down a computer)
~draw pictures left-handed with the leftover crayons (see above) and hang them on the file cabinets with heart-shaped magnets
~read the Board
~write for the Board
~practice adding numbers in your head
~make up riddles
~tell co-workers jokes that don't make sense, and laugh hysterically ("What's the difference between an elephant?")
~scrutinize amateur websites for minor typos and send lists of them to the domain owners
~make wallets, anklets, and other accessories out of duct tape
~pick a common word ("that" or "today" or "maybe") and keep track of who hears it the most

Years and years of working Education Week at the Morris Center. I learned a lot.

-A. A. Melyngoch