19 May 2010

Summer Plans...

So, existential crises aside, there are things that must be done this summer...

First, fitness... Since moving to the DC area, I have lost weight - a good thing. However, I have also started to jiggle more in places that I didn't before. This may be a lack of exercise in my life - even if that is not why, I am feeling a lack of exercise in my life. So...
I am starting, slowly, to work with kettlebells again. And to hula-hoop again. And to go on more walks. I am also contemplating Couch 2 5K, but I am still not convinced that running isn't for suckers, so I am not yet committed to that particular method of fitness.
My new early morning habit is useful in this effort, as I am awake, but my brain hasn't engaged yet - and I don't really need my brain to exercise, at least not all of it.
Also, I think that exercise is helping to settle my stomach, so in addition to eliminating some of those annoying jiggles, it is helping my digestive fitness, as well.
Speaking of digestive fitness, I am also going to have to adjust my diet somewhat - and more consistently than has been required by my ulcer flare up - more veggies, less dairy, more whole grains, less processed food... I think you can see what I mean.

Second, Qualifying Exam... In August I have to take an oral exam which will determine whether I get to continue in the PhD program, so I will be reading and studying - another reason to exercise, to limber up my brain for all the new theory I am going to have to cram in it. I'll post the reading list later this week for those interested. I am the only one taking the test this fall who has a Medieval/Early Modern concentration, which means I have no study buddies for this particular academic milestone. On one hand that is fine - I'm smart, I generally get things pretty quickly, I have a high level of reading comprehension, and I read comparatively quickly. However, I am also very deadline driven, and lack a general motivation, and this is not the kind of project you can cram for at the end and be fine. I think I am going to have to schedule, and follow that schedule, and that is so not my natural mindset, so having study partners would help give me a sense of motivation, or at least more of one. And I need to figure out a useful method for taking notes on these texts, because they will be the foundation of my teaching career and I will need to be able to easily reference them in the future.

Third, local opportunities... I have lived in the DC area for almost a full year now, and there are still so many local activities, most of them free, that I have not taken advantage of yet. I want to get my Library of Congress readers card, spend some time in the many museums, visit the aquarium - probably more than once, learn more about early American history - I am pretty up on Western Am. history, but not so much on the stuff before the Gold Rush. There are so many opportunities available here and I feel like I am not giving them their due.

And also, I need to get a job.

So, I guess I have a busy summer ahead of me...

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