Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I Heart Boston

Like so many other people in this world, I am stunned by what happened at the Boston Marathon yesterday.  If you know me, you know that Boston is one of my dreams -- this is a race that I would love to complete one day but because entry to the race depends on a qualifying time, I just haven't made it yet.  But I hope to someday.  Boston is the Big Daddy of all American marathons -- this is the oldest and the most prestigious   It's something -- at least in my opinion -- to say that you have run the Boston Marathon.

Though a majority of the runners had completed Boston before the bombs exploded (about 17,000), there were still roughly 5,000 people out there on the course.  It's hard not to put yourself in a situation like this and I know that if I had been running Boston, I would have been in this last group (the time on the final counter shows about 4:09, just about my fastest marathon time when I have been training hard).  I can't imagine the anguish of being out there on the course and being told that bombs had gone off and not being able to connect with loved ones waiting at the finish line.  I have to imagine that most of the spectators injured and killed were waiting for folks in this last group, supporting them as they came one-by-one across the much anticipated finish line after 26.2 miles.  When I ran the Rotterdam Marathon back in 2008, I was stopped at about mile 18 by military police who said the race had been halted/ cancelled due to overwhelming groups of people passing out because of the heat. Though there was a minute of confusion because of a language barrier (and shock at the rifles that the police had been carrying), I never for one minute didn't think that Jim was waiting for me at the finish line.  As much as this sounds like a cliche, my heart just breaks for those runners (especially) who were still out on the course.  The confusion must have been unbearable.  And the pain of finding out that your loved one was injured or killed .... I just can't go there.

I stumbled on some pictures that were pretty graphic earlier today as I roamed the internet trying to make sense of what happened yesterday (Who was behind this?  Why would someone do something like this?).  Unfortunately, I saw some photos that made it very clear that what happened when those bombs exploded was more terrible than words can ever express.  Besides the grief stricken looks of the folks trying to make sense of what happened, I also saw people with missing limbs and that look on a face that tells you that the person is dead.  I have a hard time trying to wrap my head around something like that.

I will continue to dream about racing in Boston much like I will continue to pursue other dreams in my life -- relaxing in Europe with my husband and a bottle of good wine, doing a Half Iron Man, being the best teacher possible, being more comfortable with my body.  But I recognize that there are bad people out there who interrupt people's dreams.  We can't let them win.  We just can't.  So keep dreaming.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Afternoon!

I think almost anyone who teaches would say that the last 5-6 weeks of class are the most difficult.  A lot of our students are starting to get that "Spring Itch" and it probably doesn't help that the weather has turned more pleasant and being outside sounds like much more fun than being inside. I "get" this feeling because I am sort of guilty of feeling the same way!  After being cooped up inside all winter (and, boy, did we get a crazy, snowy one this year) the attractions of being outside and feeling lazy are just too tempting.

I know that I need to blog more.  Blogging (or just plain ol' writing) helps me loosen up a bit before I take on "bigger" projects like ... dissertation revising.  So here is my promise to myself -- I will blog more and, as a result, finish those pesky revisions!  To kick start this new week off, here are some issues that I am thinking through right now:
  • Most importantly, I need to finish the revision of chapter three (methodology).  I have a lot of what I need in this chapter done but I need to reorganize the whole sucker.
  • I will be getting a whole boat load of student essays this week -- I need to make sure to evaluate them carefully and get them back to the students by the end of the week.
  • Submit my presentation proposal to the TYCA Mid-West Conference in October.  I basically have it done but I need to get it formatted and emailed.
  • Work on a 4C's proposal ... I think.  I would like to submit something having to do with my dissertation study but I am not 100% sure that I want to.  I have had such great luck with 4C's proposals (every single time I have submitted I have gotten in!) that I am not sure that I want to jinx myself with a proposal that may be hastily put together.  To do it well might take more brain cells that I possess at the moment!
  • Clean my home office (trust me, it is a mess!)
  • Update the reading list on this blog, as well as the race results page.  (Done!)
Before I started this list, it sure seemed like I had a lot more on my plate.  Of course, this list doesn't account for the usual triathlon race and training schedule and my weekly volunteer work at Hope Clinic.  And then there is keeping the house in decent shape and planning semi-healthy meals.  Oh, and coming up with interesting "lesson plans" and all that fun stuff.

OK, maybe I do have a lot to do!  But one thing at a time!  Today?  I have an indoor triathlon in a few hours (why do I always get so nervous even though this is just practice with my pals?) and I need to start tackling chapter three.  I am ready for classes tomorrow (included a whole pile of papers that I managed to finish evaluating Friday afternoon and yesterday morning).  I will check in tomorrow and report on what I managed to complete on Sunday!  :D