Blogger was being recalcitrant today. Not unusual, but a bit frustrating. I was forced to clean my office up. It's amazing how liberating that actually is. And how much less irritating it is to go in there when I can comfortably use the desk and all.
Last week, a friend and I agreed to ride our bikes in the morning; I'd put mine on my special rack, and meet her at her house. When I got there, she'd invited her neighbor, Biker Woman, to come along. And off we went. BW also teaches at NWU, though in a very different field. It's great to meet someone like BW, and so we went on another ride yesterday. During the first ride, we eventually settled in with me setting the pace a bit, trying to figure out what was comfortable. I pretty much ride along in tenth gear on the "rails to trails" trail because its slopes are always gentle and minimal.
Yesterday, BW started going faster, so I tried to go faster. We sped along, me trying to keep up. And then I heard her shift gears. I had nowhere else to go, gear wise, and she just pulled away like it was nothing. WOW.
Today we went on a bit longer ride, on some county roads, and up what we began to call "BW's Bump"; it's a hill, to be sure. Okay, it wouldn't slow Lance Armstrong down, but I'm not Lance Armstrong. (There's that mystery solved!) BW pretty much kept up a good pace going up, but my friend and I really slowed. way. down. I barely made it up. And after that, every time we'd see a hill of any sort, we'd tease BW about how big it was and stuff, and she'd tease about how they were gentle, minimalist slopes. Quite fun and silly.
I can't even imagine having the muscles to ride up the French Alps or something.
I'm trying to finish putting together NWU's self-study for the collaborative learning thing later in the summer. After much back and forth emailing, I arranged to meet with one of the other folks going today, and got some great feedback on the stuff I'd put together with The Scientist and typed up. S/he couldn't meet in the evenings; someone else wants to meet only in the evenings. So I met with the first this afternoon, and asked others if they could meet some evening.
And then someone else emailed me asking if s/he could still do some brainstorming.
I know people are in and out, and not wanting to think about this self study thing any sooner than necessary. But it's frustrating that some have pretty much totally ignored the earlier emails, and can't seem to put two and two together, or answer, or whatever.
In a more formal or departmental setting, I can sort of figure out schedules, set a meeting time, and figure that most of my colleagues will come and get the task done. Here and now, though, the lack of communication's sort of irritating.
On the other hand, I've pretty much done my part, and I can send off what I've done, and leave, and just ask others to send their personal statements directly to the organizers if they don't have them in to me on time for me to send them off with the other stuff.
I also really don't know what's expected, but I think The Scientist will look what we have over and give me some feedback, too, so that should help. And I'm assuming the self-study is primarily to get us thinking about our issues, rather than some kind of super official public document, because you just don't let random Bardiacs write up super official public documents, not if you have an ounce of common sense.
Finally, my book group met last night to discuss The Basque History of the World. We had such a great discussion; it's just amazing to see the different, interesting ways people contribute based on their academic knowledge, travels, and so on. One of the folks brought shrimp made according to a Basque recipe she'd found, and they were about as good as anything I've eaten ever. WOW. All in all, a lovely evening out on the deck.
I also finally finished Middlesex and ordered my books for next semester. I still haven't finished the reading lists for my Body class or my early modern drama class, but I've definitely got some ideas going. And I just realized that I forgot to order one of the books I'd meant to order. Lovely!
On that note, I'm going to go have some leftovers from last night, and then start reading Octavia Butler's Kindred, which I've been meaning to read for ages. Or I could finish one of the two more "academic" books I'm in the middle of.