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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Shedding

Just like my two big Labradors, I'm shedding winter bulk in the form of fuzzy assignments and hairy class requirments. I'll return to a more frequent posting schedule within the next few days.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Weighty Matters

Awhile back, I had a conversation with a woman who had managed to gain an improbable 200 pounds while pursuing some sort of advanced academic degree. Ironically, she was the first person to seriously sell me on the idea that I, too, should foray into the postgraduate realm, although it’s now clear that I didn’t connect some of the more, shall we say, ample dots in sales pitch.

This week, I realized that I am over half of the way to packing on a 5th of this woman’s impressive poundage, and I came to the grim conclusion that I need to stop acting as though academic “crunch time” means opening bags of study snacks. I realize we’re still dealing with single-digit numbers here, but we hypochondriacs don’t like leaving anything to chance when it comes to potentially debilitating physical conditions.

I began with the admittedly “soft” approach of taking on Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods as my travel-time audio book, as though I expected to become vicariously slim by way of an audio tag-along down the Appalachian Trail.

When that didn’t work, I began building a resume of modest physical accomplishments. A handful of circuits around the neighborhood. A few minutes I appropriated on the track circling my son’s soccer field while waiting for his practice to conclude. An impressively sweaty 40 minute stint on the treadmill.

In truth, this type of activity is really my normal routine. It’s just that—wouldn’t you know—graduate school seems to have me sitting on my butt way more than I think the AMA would recommend. I find it seriously hilarious that an impressive scope of organizations ranging from literacy advocacy groups to health institutions blame television for the rampant snacking and staggering obesity figures in younger Americans while promoting—get this—reading as a solution to this grave cycle of wanton inactivity.

Unlike a graduate student waddling into a library, the theory just doesn’t hold its weight.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

I Think "Court Jester" is a Great Job Title

“May I ask who’s calling?” I asked in the crisp office voice I’ve cultured ever since I was reassigned from the database to Anything But the Database.

“Prince Books.” Startled, I considered asking the caller to repeat himself, but despite the improbability of receiving a call from royalty at the graduate office, I was certain of what I’d heard.

I walked to into Dr. S’s office and asked, perhaps with a bit too much pomp and circumstance, if she could take a call from Prince Books.

For a split second, she too, looked alarmed until she paused, mentally reassigning stress to the appropriate syllables. Her lips crinkled a bit at the edges, but she quickly gained command of her composure before taking the call.

This is more than I can say for myself, as I walked back down the hall, remembering exactly what we do at the graduate office—you know, things like procuring text books from publishers, and the like.

For some reason I think the word “telephone” is about to be edited from my job description.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

That Which does not Kill You Makes You Flabby and Stressed

Around 4 PM on a recent Monday, I realized that I’m definitely a real college student.

It wasn’t just a sudden acknowledgement of the five pounds of free flab I received with my registration, or the blown eardrum from the concert in the gym.

It occurred to me that my activities for the previous 24-hours included nothing more than writing a paper, playing video games, and sleeping.

It’s crunch time in my semester, and my 10-day forecast calls for papers and projects, punctuated by breaks for sanity and sleep.

The upside is that I’ve found that college life has driven my hypochondria into remission. Oh, it’s not that I’m unaffiliated; on the contrary, just in the past week, I’ve exhibited symptoms of ocular and muscular tumors, heart disease, and Bell’s Palsy, in addition to the aforementioned aural trauma. However, these days, I can do little more than shrug off or shun thoughts of medical maladies, a format that has yielded surprising results. With no time or inclination to follow up on any of these grave possibilities, the symptoms usually dissipate on their own without intervention.

College life appears, then, to be my “magic bullet” against hypochondria. Now I just need something to alleviate the side effects, lest paunch and papers become the death of me.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Something to do While We're Waiting...

...for me to have time to post.

http://www.dailylit.com/home

Five minutes (each day), no cost, unlimited enjoyment!

Happy reading!

(My progress can be tracked on the left, under my profile)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

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