Thursday, March 1, 2012

The gift of time

I am on Spring Break from Mount Saint Mary's this week, which is a relief.  I get 6 hours back just from not having to drive up there, plus all of the time spent into teaching, preparing for class, etc.  The time off has really been a gift.  My whole Tuesday and Thursday have been completely different, because instead of getting everything done in DC by 2:30 (when I leave), I have the entire day, plus, I am truing to get ahead in writing my lectures.
Now, today, March 1st, the weather is beautiful in DC (yesterday, it poured on Leap Day, so I think this was our reward for getting through that).  So beautiful that I actually have been working outside for most of the day.
I feel incredibly fortunate.  Among many other reasons, I really do think I was meant to work in the academic profession.  The flexibility of this job is tremendous.  I started grading this morning at 7AM - I didn't need to punch a clock or report to anyone.
Shannon Rowbury doing a nice job demonstrating what I did today
At 9, I mentally punched out and went for a 4 mile run.  I also did a bunch of drills too - something that doesn't always fit into my schedule, but today it did. High knees, grapevines, butt kicks, and even this hurdle walk thing (obviously, I am fortunate that the track I use has hurdles nearby).  And I was back at home by 10AM and back on track with grading.
Tonight, I did work later than 5, but I did it out of my home today.  And obviously there are drawbacks to this too.  Your work does come home with you, you never really feel "done," but there are many many advantages to this system too.
Sun, iced tea, and a good book - who could ask for anything more?
Exhibit A: the picture.  Being on break meant I could sit outside on my teeny porch and work outside.  Outside?  Fresh air?  Heck yes!  I was playing my Motown and grooving to the Supremes while reading about fifteenth-century Italy.  That's what everyone does on a sunny day, right?  I really was smiling - I just felt content.  The weather was terrific, I was getting good work done, and things just felt in sync.
There are some parts of grad school that are lonely and dreary - I will admit that.  But today, I definitely felt the perks - the independence, the good reading (which all reading is good reading, right?), and the flexible schedule.
And by the by: 158.5 miles for February and 174 for January.  I hit a new swim PR on leap day: 40:25 for my 2000 yard swim.  Now if I can get my 10k run to match that time, I'll be all set!

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