Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back to school

I remember when back to school meant breaking out the Bee Gee’s lunch box, buying new tennis shoes and a trip to Venture to pick up school supplies. Sweet nostalgia, how times have changed.

At age 37, going back to school doesn’t have quite the same lore. Last week I started graduate school. A four-hour class, one night a week, for eight weeks equals three credit hours. Pack in five hours of reading and 1-2 papers per week and there you have it – my life outside of work for the next three years.

Let’s look more closely. Four freakin’ hours of class. Yes, it’s as long as it sounds. By the last hour I’m doing the econ head-bob I perfected in undergrad. (Taking econ as an 8 a.m. class is just stupid. Every class was an exercise in not falling asleep. Hence, the head-bob.) This class is 6-10 p.m. I usually get up at 5:30 a.m. You can see the problem.

Weekend intensive courses are another gem. While appealing in theory, the reality looks awful. Friday night 6-10 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. In advance, please read these 200 pages and do three case studies. I wonder if bringing some sort of caffeine drip would be inappropriate. Or my laptop to watch Project Runway.

Last night the instructor handed back our first graded assignment. 40/40. I was feeling pretty good about myself until she said she gave everyone 40/40. What???? Her reasoning was the paper was due the first day of class and we couldn’t have known her expectations, so she just rewarded the effort. Does she realize how long I labored over that stinking paper? (A ridiculously longtime, by the way.)

So the journey begins. When contemplating getting my masters, a friend told me the time will pass anyway, so might as well start. She was right. She just didn’t mention about the time passing so slowly.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back to reality.

After nine days in the wonderful state of Colorado, it was back home to Kansas City. Sigh. We had a fantastic trip, visiting friends and family in Denver, camping (yes, I made it through camping), relaxing at Beaver Creek and watching the Leadville 100 mountain bike race.

Our one night of camping (thank god) was fairly uneventful. A giant bull moose came through our campsite, which was awesome. I was taking pictures like paparazzi, until BF warned me that moose can be aggressive. I got in the car.

Being a logistics person, I was concerned with the details. Primarily, where do you go to the bathroom. (There were no port-a-potties at the campsite.) Most triathletes are adept at relieving themselves on the road, so I've never had a problem peeing in the great outdoors. But peeing wasn't the concern. What do you do when you have to GO. And the answer is you dig a hole and then bury it. Fascinating. And kind of gross. My first thought was what if I dig a hole where someone else already dug one? But fortunately, that didn't happen. So moose spotting and hole digging were the two most interesting things about camp.

BF and I had aspirations of doing all sorts of activities once we arrived in Beaver Creek. We had mountain bikes, hiking gear, swim stuff and there was even a yoga studio. The reality was quite different. We ate, lounged, slept and shopped. In three days, there were two hikes and a yoga class. It was awesome.

The final leg of the journey was to Leadville to watch a friend do the race. I was blown away watching these folks push themselves. I imagine it was like what Ironman was 20 years ago. And like watching Ironman, by the end of the day I thought I could do this race. BF and I will both enter the lottery for next year. Secretly I hope he gets in and I don't. This may be an event I'm better suited to cheer for.

For the record, I didn't wear the cowboy hat the entire time.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Outdoorsy Me - Ha!

I'm going camping. Outside. With a tent and sleeping bags and other sorts of outdoorsy equipment that I'm unfamiliar with. My friends are delighted by this. They don't believe I will make it. Not that I'll be eaten by a bear or something exciting like that, but I will demand to be taken to the nearest hotel by 10 p.m.

It's true that I'm not much of a camper. I'm more of a bedder. I like beds in rooms with climate control and adjacent to bathrooms. The last time I camped was when my mom and I went to girl scout camp in 1980. I came home with three ticks on me. That was the end of my camping career.

This is an attempt at revival. I've been informed what this is is car camping, as opposed to backpacking. (Apparently, there's special camp terminology.) I did buy a pair of hiking boots, though. When the lady at Backwoods asked what kind I was looking for, I answered "the least unattractive pair you have, please." They're still unattractive, but at least they were on sale.

There better be s'mores.