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Random Realizations

Just want to really get these down:

* on the shuttle bus ride I saw two people walking with canes.  I realized how much of a fear that is for me in my later life, the ability to not get around.  I mean, yeah, to a degree it is inevitable, but one man was so hunched over he looked like an angle.  I recognize I run alot so the likelihood of that being my future is less than high.  However, that, and losing my memories, are two big fears of the future.  I know - too early to have those kinds of fears.

* I recognize that if everything goes according to plan, by this time next year I will be in the midst of my dissertation.  That's a big deal.  I can still remember looking at students at the local university with contempt in 1999-2000, seeing them going to school after 5pm and mentally admonishing them for continuing studies.  I honestly just felt guilty that I did so poorly in my studies at Washington College and barely earned the accolades I did.  Fast forward 16 years, and I have three more degrees than that moment, and am working on my fifth(!) degree, a doctorate.  Odd how life changes.  And two years from now, in August of 2018, if all is really aligned, I'll be on the market looking for my first full-time teaching position, ready to finish my PhD in December.  Yikes.

* I clearly have some barrier about relationships.  Yes, well, my own of course, but also others.  There are three friends who live close by (in Baltimore or DC) who are now engaged to be married.  One I just learned about this weekend.  Odd thing?  In all of those situations, (a) the people have been together for 2 years or less, and (b) all involve infidelity; my friends in all 3 circumstances were cheated on.  Maybe it's me; trust is a huge thing.  And in these circumstances all 3 people were pretty blatant about how they cheated.  But all 3 were forgiven.  I guess all of my friends are better people than I - I don't think I would have forgiven...at all.

* Ft Lauderdale is in two days and I'm kind of excited.  I'm glad to get away and not have to obsess about work and school for a few days.  I'm glad to have no responsibilities for six days.  I'm glad I'll get to sit by the pool and just start drinking at 10am if I want to.  I'm glad I get to go running beside the Atlantic Ocean every day.

* I didn't run this morning.  I should have - I could have, but I slacked.  I'm telling myself I will run when I get home, but I also recognize how it has thrown me off completely today.  I feel like the Matthew Sweet song "Sick of Myself" is my themesong today...sigh.

End of Month Stuff

Running. Going amazing.  I hit 60 miles, and am one run away from 100k run.  I am so amazed that I got my stamina back.  Just think - 4 months ago I couldn't even maintain a half-mile run on a treadmill; I was struggling to do 5 minutes of sustained running.  Which was odd because a year before that I could do 2.5 miles easily.  And suddenly, I'm back there.  It seems like my "base run" is 2.5 miles, and I'm doing 5ks on the weekend.  I know I'll (easily) hit 100k in August - September will be a struggle with my new schedule.  But, my running groove is back; that is, in a word, phenomenal.

Teaching. Getting excited about going back.  Had a minor emergency; had to replace one of my texts for one of my classes.  Was able to get what I think is a replacement.  Looks like all 3 classes should run in the fall; two are definite (Blacks in America and the Masculinities course).   The last one is contingent on me getting 6 more people.  Not hard; let's just make it happen!

School.  Also getting excited about my impending comps.  They start in Novmeber.  Then...the dissertation.  I'm finishing up 4 things that should be published.  One is done and I've given it to 4 people to review.  One should be pretty much finished Monday.  One will be completed by the time I get back from Florida.  The last...by the end of the month.

Feel Great...it's just Hot!

Ugh - in the Baltimore/DC region we've had a multitude of days in the 90s - two days that almost hit the 100s, and it will keep on coming.  I barely handle heat well as it is, so this is absolutely killing me.  I have been running, though - inside.  I ran Friday, Saturday and Sunday, all totalling about 9 miles, and was able to get up and run 2.3 miles this morning.  I think I'll make my dual goal (running a minimum of 100k this month, and hitting 200k run this year).  It is kind of terrifying to me that half of the distance I've run this year has been this month, but I think it is overall good - the body is holding up, I'm feeling energized after the runs, and I feel like I want to run more (all of which is good).  I think I'll be able to hit 700k by the end of the year (which is about 435 miles).  Sucky compared to last year - it will be literally my worst year of running since 2011, but I recognize I didn't run (at all) from January - April/May really except for spurts of a mile here and a mile there.

There are some runs coming up, like the Race to Remember (Sept 11th), the Downtown Thanksgiving Run, and the Autism Run which I may want to try (again).  I've run all of them before and finished them.  I'm a little nervous about running outside again, and if I'll hold up.  I am slower than I was (I'm only running about 7 mph right now).  My hope is to use August as an endurance month - by the end of it to be back to running about 7.4/7.5 mph on the treadmill, which will mean a solid 7.1 mph outside.  I think I can do it.

The other concern is how to navigate my running time in the fall as my schedule tightens.  What it seems it will mean is a double run at least one day of the week, with morning runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Either that or a long run on Saturdays.  Yikes.  Like a 4.5 to 5 miler on Saturdays.

Starting to get some of these projects out of the door, speaking of my collegiate level writing.  So I now have 4 things on the burner, all to be complete by August 31st.  Cannot wait.

Huh.

Not, bad actually.

Running/Fitness. Starting with this, which...honestly, I never start with.  So I ran 6 out of 7 days last week, averaging about 2.2 miles each day and running 5k on the weekends.  So, from Sunday - Saturday last week I hit about 14 miles.  I should be able to easily hit 15 miles this week.  The big thing next for me isn't about hitting 100k this month ( I should be able to do that no problem), but figuring out what my schedule will look like once school starts.  I don't run any evenings right now (with the exception of Tuesday) so that would probably not change that much.  However, I'd cut down to running just 5 days a week, with my Saturday morning run becoming a Saturday afternoon run.  I think I can still hit 62 miles a month (roughly 15.5 miles a week) by running 5k on the weekends and 2.5 miles on the weekdays.  Meh, we will see, but overall, it has been a good week and will be a good month.

School (Teaching). Classes are filling; just want maybe 5 more in my Masculinities course, and 8 more in my CCBC class.  Let's just see if that happens.

School (PhD).  MUST. FINISH. PAPERS.  Found out my proposal for the Mid Atlantic conference got accepted; I will send my proposals for the other two conferences I'm doing as soon as they open up (for one of them, that isn't until October; the other is open now).  But in terms of publication, gotta make it work.

Runs

Running.  Running is going rididuclously well.  I ran, all total, 12.5 miles last week - not too shabby considering I was doing MUCH less for the year before.  My goal is to get close to 15 miles this week.  I ran about 2.28 yesterday (Sunday) and 2.1 this morning; I'll run Tuesday night, Wednesday morning, Friday and Saturday.  I've managed to speed up a bit; this morning's run was almost 7 mph.  I'm hoping by the end of August to be back up to running 5ks (3.1 miles) on Saturday and Sunday, and 2.5 miles (about 21 minutes) on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I just want to get there again.

School.  It's nice to have a break from classes (as in forever), but I really need to get on the ball with these 3 papers I'm writing.  They aren't going to write themselves.  I'll take some time Tuesday and Wednesday after class to deal with at least one of them, and then dive headlong into the second to finish by 31 July.  With the third paper completed by the end of August.  That sounds workable, I'm sure.

Teaching. Another break, but need to get back into the swing of things.  If things go well I'll have all 3 of my classes. Excited about that.  Just hope my third class (the Saturday one) fills.

Runs

Kind of a sappy post, but 3 solid days of running.  Saturday I ran 2.3 miles, yesterday I ran 2 miles, this morning I ran 2.3 miles.  Yes, I know - that doesn't sound like much, really, but this is huge to me.  From August on, my running went down to next to nothing.  I starting running again in January, and promptly hurt myself, which put me on the rowing machine 4-5 days a week.  If it weren't for an old college friend nudging me back into running (from halfway around the world) I'd be slacking.

So I'm appreciative.  I ran just aout 30 miles last month- odd given that I was doing 60-70 mile months last year...but it's a start

Closing In...

Ugh - I am totally feeling like "what am I doing"?  There was SO MUCH I wanted to do this summer, and one month is already gone.  What have I accomplished? About one-fifth of what I wanted.  By the end of June I wanted one of the 3 papers I need to write, written.  Is it?  Nope.  It's maybe 40% done.  I'm going to work on it this weekend to refine it some, and hopefuly, HOPEFULLY, it will be done by the end of the week.  Then take a couple of days as a break, and start on the second paper.  Give myself 20 days to do that, and then...the third paper, which needs to be done by August 20th.  I definitely want something in the fundamental process of being potentially published by the time I begin my dissertation in April.  Yeesh.

Work had this highly stressful period, but it seems to have calmed down.  Now coasting into patterns of retrieval with all of this stuff regarding medical records.  Sigh.

No real school stuff, in terms of the PhD - well except for those papers I really, really should write (HINT).  I will reach out to my dissertation co-chair and give him an update and see if there's any sage advice he  can offer, but I kind of want something done first.  Sigh.

And of course, nothing about teaching.  My one class for Towson is full;  I just need more people in my other two classes.  More than likely I will get 10 more people for the CCBC class, which means it will run.  The masculinities class already has the numbers to run, but having 25 people would not hurt.  So....yeah...7 more people.

Back into running!  I'm actually thrilled.  I ran about 2.25 miles today, and nearly 30 miles in the month of June; that might not sound like much, ecept for the fact that, well, I didn't run 30 miles total in April and May combined!

Okay - enough of an update- back on to the writing!

Yes...

I got an email from the coordinator of the Sociology program at CCBC, the community college where I sometimes teach.  I hadn't heard from her in nearly 6 months, even though I had been attempting to reach out.  She let me know that, yes, I got my fall course at the college.

I'm elated.

On the one hand, it was probably a circumstance of little worry.  It's a Saturday morning class, and generally professors hate those.  I'm normally up at 5:30 am on Saturdays, so teaching a 9am class is really no big deal to me.  And it's a topical matter I enjoy, so I'm fine with it.

On the other hand, I'm really happy to have this opportunity.  Given the classes I've missed (one winter, one spring, two summer) because of poor enrollment or just no opportunity to teach, I've missed out on...and yeah, I'm going ot mention money, about $10,000 this year.  It doesn't really destroy me, as my regular salary is enough to support my general lifestyle, but the normal money I would save or spend on a lot of frivilous things has been pretty much gone for the first 6 months of the year.  It's frustrating when you see the numbers.

This course will allow me to bank up some money, added to the fact that because I'm not paying as much for my next semester (and won't be for any future semesters), I'll be able to save a lot more money every time I teach.  Yeesh.  Breathe out.

I'm just really really glad to have this course.  Not only because of the financial reasons, but because I really thought I might have been pushed out of CCBC as their enrollment drops.  So, yeah, happy.

No Anxiety on Monday

The title is likely an exaggeration.  It is less about "no anxiety" and more about a relaxing wake up.  Why?  Because it is the first week where:

a) I didn't have to worry about an 18 hour day, meaning 8 hours working, an hour commuting, then office hours and teaching until 9:30 pm.
b) I don't have a crapload to do this week; no papers to grade, no papers to write, no conferences coming up

It is almost *too* relaxing to think that at the end of the day today (that being 4pm), I can just get on the express shuttle, and go HOME.  I am not required to do anything, be anywhere....nothing.  It's actually a very, very nice feeling.

It's also gratifying to know the stress for Mondays will be pretty much gone forever.  I'm not teaching any Monday classes in the fall, so no more long Mondays.  And there's a realization, when you have an 18 hour Monday, just how long that makes your work week seem.

Mondays, me and school have an interesting relationship.  When I went back for my 2nd bachelors in 2004, I purposely didn't pick any classes that happened on Mondays.  Why? Because for about 6 years running I had a happy hour on Mondays with an old friend, and I promised him I wouldn't take any Monday classes.  I kept this pact through the bachelors and the masters.  Oddly enough even though I finished my master's in about 2 years (which is just on target), I could have finished it a semester earlier if I would have taken a Monday class.  I regretted it in 2009 when I graduated; I really think I made a wise decision.

I actually didn't start crowding my Mondays until about 2 years ago, when I started teaching a Monday evening course.  It didn't seem that bad at the time, but after a while, it just wears on you.  Mondays turn into slogs.  Sundays become annoying days; you spend most of Sunday night dreading Monday because it's so long.  Tuesdays feel like zombie days.  Fridays, on the other hand, seem like mana from heaven (until you realize...boom, a Monday is around the corner).

I can't wait to see what this adaptation to my schedule will mean.

Presented at the Cultural Studies Assocation conference at Villanova this weekend; boy was that awful.  No disrespect to the people who hosted my panel or my section, but the rest of the conference was a complete and utter trainwreck.  I got to see what passes for "research" in parts of the humanities and ...wow...embarrasing. Also the classrooms at Villanova looked like something out of Welcome Back Kotter. It was surreal.

Huh...let's see what this week brings!

Movement and REALizations

So all the paperwork for UMBC got completed which means I am officially on the roster as an instructor/adjunct professor.  This is kind of huge.  First, it's the first time I am teaching a class that isn't sociology.  And frankly, it won't be sociology - I've been asked to lean it away from my discipline for a more interdisciplinary approach.  Second, I am teaching at the school where I'm getting my PhD, which is probably only a big deal to me.  I mean, this could open doors, if I decide I want to teach more here.  Third, my direct supervisor in the department, the chair, is also one of my dissertation advisors, so...yeah....no pressure.

But I am thrilled - it's sort of amazing to see your name on the course listing as an instructor.  I mean, yeah, I have seen it a hundred times before at Towson and CCBC, but at the place where I will be, in about 2.5 years wearing that ridiculous poofy hat...it's pretty big for me.


The way it looks next semester won't be that imperious, in terms of other work.  My full time job will be on "coast mode", which means I come in, do what I need to, and then leave.  I'm only teaching one course at Towson.  If God is kind, I'll be teaching a Saturday course at CCBC.  So, I'll be all set to start comps in mid-November.  Sigh.  Sorta nervous, pretty okay though.

I think I have figured out what I'm doing and in what order.  I am going to first reconfigure my old Brony paper into a journal article and submit.  Second, I will work on the 'thanks discourse' paper, and finish that up by mid-July.  Third I will start and finish my paper for the Extending Play conference.  Lastly, I will turn my literature review into another paper talking about decentered masculinities.  All that stuff will be done by August 31st.

Looks like the American Men's Studies Association conference will be in Ann Arbor again.  I don't know if I'm annoyed or super annoyed.  The locale wasn't...bad...it's just the hotel was like 2 miles away from the place where the conference happened, and the closest airport is Detroit.  Sigh.  Yeah, I'll do it again. I know I will.  I just need to make sure I have something to present on.  More than likely it will be a refit of the Cultural Studies paper analyzing veteran identity.

PCA is in San Diego in March.  Will I go?  I don't know.  Tickets are kind of expensive, but I could use some of my GSA money to get there, I suppose.  My hope is to present an analysis of larp data there, working with a prof out of UC Irvine.

There's a conference in New Orleans in September that I'm hoping to find out about.  It's all on the topic of vets.  I really think I need to go to this.

Running has been going apace.  I have run every day this week.  I didn't run this morning, but my intent is to run when I get home.