I held my last regular day of classes today. Soon, final papers will be turned in, and I’ll be grading like a fiend to get them done. During the break we’ll be traveling to New York (perhaps I’ll get to meet Deb) and then Philadelphia. The last time I was in New York, Chuck bought me a martini the size of my head, which rendered me incapable of being aware of the time — why are they turning on the lights and rolling up the carpets? — or of realizing that the woman in the car trying to pick us up in Times Square at 2 in the morning was not doing so because she thought we were hot.
While in New York, I’d like to visit the newly reopened Museum of Modern Art and perhaps see “The Newtonian Moment: Science and the Making of Modern Culture” at the New York Public Library. In Philadelphia, I might do some research at the library of the American Philosophical Society: they have part of Ben Franklin’s personal library, and I’m currently trying to determine if that might include any Methodist materials, and if so, whether that material has any marginalia or other evidence of reading. Franklin was not a Methodist, of course, but he did publish some works by Methodist George Whitefield (see Frank Lambert’s “Pedlar in Divinity”: George Whitefield and the Transatlantic Revivals, 1737-1770).
Before the start of the next semester, I will also
- spend some time with my father when he comes to visit,
- retool my blog (expect a couple of dramatic changes),
- prepare for my graduate seminar on orality and literacy in the eighteenth century,
- get my research agenda for spring semester in order,
and last but not least
- start taking better care of my body again.
On this last point: I need to start exercising. I had one year on fellowship in graduate school, during which I went to the gym just about every day and got into the best shape of my life. I’ve never been
particularly at all athletic, but put me on an elliptical trainer with some headphones and a magazine and I’ll burn 500 calories in 30 minutes. Additionally, I did enough work with weights to see some modest results. Since I started work as a professor, however, I have let that routine slip. This is not good. I sleep better, my mood is better, my energy level is better, my brain works better, and my body just feels better when I am exercising regularly.
Sheri runs, and Kathleen has started running again. Meanwhile, Natalie and Dave ran the Marine Corps Marathon. Oliver, who owns Muddy’s Coffeeshop, just ran the New York Marathon. As for me, I’ve always hated running, though I started doing it back in the late ’70s when we still called it “jogging,” and, come to think of it, I was on the cross country team one year in high school. Should I try to make myself like something that has tended to make me want to throw up? The idea of running for exercise is so appealing: just put on the right shoes and go.
If you’re still reading, what advice do you have for starting a regimen of running as exercise?
Maybe I’ll hack my mind over break, too.