succumbing to peer pressure

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I taught twice this week (covering a friend's class for Rosh Hashanah) which is good, because I need to get back into the swing of things. I've known for years that I'm a little too sensitive for teaching - I take it very personally if a student doesn't like a class or even if someone just completely refuses to learn. But after a few weeks I get better at shrugging off the few students clearly not paying attention, looking sour and and angry, or whispering side conversations*. For now, I'm still too distracted by all those things. bugger.

*I teach a second-year statistics class, in a computer lab. So some portion of the students inevitably fall into one of two categories - smarter than the class average, bored, and checking e-mail or coerced into taking the class by an adviser, unconvinced that they need it, and checking e-mail. side conversations are also inevitable, since often it's faster to get your neighbor to find your typo than wait for me to work my way around the class.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Weight-lifting bonus - improved bowling!

So I have these rather giant biceps, leftover from my days as a gymnast. And on the one hand, they're sort of cool, because I can lift heavy things, but on the other hand, they don't fit inside your average short sleeved shirt. So a couple of months ago I was volunteering at the USSF and happened to meet a personal trainer. We got to talking, and I lamented that nothing seems to tone up my arms. He suggested 4 sets of a dozen reps of every arm exercise I could possibly think of with 10 lb dumbbells (eventually working up to 14, 16, etc. reps). So I've added in weight lifting to my workout routine, and although I can't say I've noticed any difference in appearance, at bowling tonight my increased forearm and hand strength was awesome! I had so much more control over the ball! I bet I'd be even better at rock climbing now too...

Also, yes, this is what I've been reduced to. I have all these other things bookmarked (literally and figuratively) but I just don't have the time and energy to be thoughtful about them right now. Which, actually, is a good thing, because the cause is an exciting uptick in my research. Things are going well and I'm all distracted and consumed by work in this way that seems nice to me, but means that lots of other things (thoughtful blogging, returning phone calls and e-mails, maintaining the semblance of a reasonable schedule) have fallen to the wayside. So, no need to worry about me, things are great, but they sort of don't look that way from the outside at the moment.