Saturday, January 13, 2007

8.68mi - 1:05'07"

Fun memories from today's run:
  1. It's so windy, I actually had a competitive race with a plastic bag for about 25 meters. I won.
  2. I was a little short on podcasts today, so I went back to I have to embarrassedly admit that I think Bob Newhart is funny.
A little more on the runners out there:

Most of the folks I see out there running are very young women. Early in the day, they usually run alone, serious, focused. After classes and in the evening, there are the pairs and small gaggles. They look like the most fun. They're running, but chatting and laughing all at once. They sometimes tick me off because they won't make room when we meet.

There actually aren't usually that many guys out there, or maybe I'm running at times when they aren't. The ones I do see are the athletes, or at least they want people to think they are. I should say that I see the women power runners too, but the guys seem to be showing off more. They run with strides that no one could mistake for a casual runner. Is it an alpha-male thing? Are they puffing up because they see another male on their running route? Who knows. They never smile, even when running in groups.

The most interesting runners are the couples. I always think it's sweet when I see couples running. They'll chat and look happy. Even if they aren't romantically together, it always seems that they're kind of like they're simply a pair. It just so happens that they're running right now. They could just as easily been watching TV or anything else. Very cozy and friendly-like. They almost always smile as we pass.

I still see a lot of what I'm guessing are New Year's Resolution runners out there. It's really cool to see them. They usually have brand new running gear - iPods and shiny workout gear. They're also usually having a bit of trouble.

Today, I passed one really big guy who was doing the standard thing you do when you haven't run in a long time. He was jogging for a little while and then walking for a little while. I glanced at his face as I passed him. He looked determined, but maybe a little embarrassed to be passed by short little stumpy me. I created a whole world around him as I finished off my last loop.

In my mind, he was a football player in high school. Good, but not good enough to get a scholarship. He got into USU, but just barely. He was actually a little surprised himself. His first year was a whirlwind of parties and craziness, and he just barely held onto passing grades, except for that one bio class.

He's picking it all up now though. He swore he was going to get serious and get back to his playing weight and bring his grades back up. He had all of his old workout gear, but right now, he's wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt to hide the extra weight. He's embarrassed, but at least he's back moving again. So now he's up early on a Saturday morning running the long trail while his buddies are sleeping it off. It's probably better that way anyway.

He didn't smile at me, but maybe he will in a few weeks.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pennies From Heaven

There are actually things that I can do well and that I enjoy doing.

Then there are those that I can't and don't.

Among the latter is the writing of funding requests.

Not only do I have little experience doing that, I'm really bad about selling myself. It's very hard for me to present a image of myself and my research that looks good without laughing a little bit. I mean, c'mon! I can think of a billion better uses for money than giving it to me. Fix potholes, put working tech in the classrooms, teach undergrads how to write, whatever, the idea that I deserve money seems just flat out ludicrous. Now, I know that there is money set aside specifically for people like me, and that if I don't get it, someone similar to me will get it, so it might as well be me. Since, like, you know, there's no way it'll actually get disbursed to fill potholes anyway.

What this all means practically is that I am always procrastinating about putting these things together. And then I end up feeling guilty for writing recommendation requests with RUSH stamped on the top.

Sigh... Well, here goes nothing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Put My Quiz In A Box

Well, let's just say that you and I are all a little rusty on the quiz business :)

Let's put that last quiz behind us and we'll move on. Your grades will not count against your final quiz grade and instead will simply be folded into your participation score.

Let's try this again :)

You don't have to be beautiful
to turn me on
I just need your body baby
From dusk till dawn

Truth is I love you
More than I wanted to
There's no point in trying to pretend

So lift your eyes if you feel you can
Reach for a star and I'll show you a plan

One step further and my back will break,
If my best isn't good enough
Than how can it be good enough for two?

It's kind of a special feeling
When you're out on the sea alone
Staring at the full moon like a lover


Ah, yes. It's kind of funny. I had a fit this summer when the reader I created for the class I taught ended up costing so much money (~$50). The copy folk said that the reason was that the reader was so expensive was that it was a small print run and a fairly beefy selection of texts.

Well, I guess the monster lecture class I'm taking now is... different somehow. There are I think 60 or so students, and the reader is pretty hefty, so anyone want to take a guess on the price?

$80! That's not Canadian dollars folks. Ye gods...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007

Wow. First day of classes taken care of and it looks like it's going to be another doozey of a time. I've got two sections of my class with several returnees from before the break - mostly good folks, so that's all for the good, although tomorrow should be interesting. The lecture has three sections of ~100 students each and it's scheduled to take place in a 60 person maximum room - ah, fun.

I think I've finally settled on classes for myself, too, which is nice to know. I'm taking my first lecture class here at USU, and it looks very interesting. It's slightly out of my field, but in a way that I find very interesting. The prof is very confrontational and in your face (well, not yours really, unless you were there too, in which case, email me, we'll get together for a beer) , which ain't easy in a lecture. He actually pulled out some of his 'Rate Your Prof' comments - the ones that talked about how hard of a class it was and that all his lectures were boring. This man will merit close watching I'll wager.

The seminar o' the day is the first class I've got with my lead advisor, and the first meeting went pretty well. Actually, after class, I went to his office and talked for a couple of hours. That went really well. The one-on-one reminded me why I came here. After feeling very out of sorts in the fall seminar, I really felt like I could communicate with him. We talked about possible research tacks and then ended up just chatting. I really like this guy. I hope that this good vibe continues - I've got the feeling I'm going to need someone like that through this mess that is a PhD trek.

Oh, and what the hell's up with Ohio State?