Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The good, the bad and the ugly

The good:

I have been to the gym today and yesterday! I don't do real New Year's resolutions, but I do think about areas of my life I want to improve now and then. Typically it is some sort of outside change that makes me think about new goals. This time it was leaving my temporary teaching position in the Arctic and returning to postdoc city that made me think about what I wanted to change in my life. I have been pretty sloppy with my health for the past six-seven months - ever since I embarked on the teaching experience - and in the end I almost couldn't stand the couch potato life anymore. I am normally the kind of person who can live well for a long time without much physical activity and I'd much rather relax in front of a DVD after a long day at work than run around in the streets, so when I feel an urge to exercise it is really about time to do so. I already had a gym membership, but I haven't been there for at least seven months, and I was almost embarrassed to come back in case somebody would comment on this (they scan the membership card at the counter, so you need to be face to face with an actual person). But severe need to do something other than work and lie around below the blankets at home made me go yesterday and it was great. It was so nice to work out and also really good to do something after work. I got so worked up about the whole thing that I signed up for a dance class already today, so now I feel like every muscle in my body has been stretched to its limit and beyond, not unlike if I'd been run over by something heavy. But the dance class was fun, and I will come back when my achy limbs feel better. I hope I can at least get back in reasonable shape before leaving for the Argentina trip in early March and I hope I can get rid of some of the pounds I have piled on when I was in the throes of professorhood.

The bad:

First we had no winter for a loooong time and everybody complained about the lack of skiing conditions (this country must be on ski-loving nation's top three). Then we had three, maybe four beautiful winter days when everything was covered in powder snow and all the neighborhood kids were gathering at the small hill just outside our house to play in the snow, and everybody finally went skiing and stopped talking about green fields and rain and flowers. Now it looks like Mr. Frost has decided to stick around for a while, but not at the -5 degrees celsius romantic prettiness kind of way, but in the +0.5 degrees celsius sleet, ice and wet slush everywhere kind of way. The road was so slippery this morning that I hardly made it up the nearest hill in the car and on my way home I had to take a detour to turn the car since I got stuck in the snow practically outside the house the first time around. I was seriously tempted to go outside and take a picture of the road for the blog, but considering the wind and the sleet and the wetness outside and the fact that it is dark now I opted out of it.

The ugly:

Well, ugly is an exaggeration, but this is my least favorite item on the list nevertheless. I am supposed to be grading exams and now I haven't done it because I have been to the gym, cooked a nutritious dinner and written all this. I tell you, these exams are haunting me. I have been dragging them around for a month now and I MUST finish the remaining ones tomorrow. Not only do I have to finish grading the ones I have already got, I also have to write a whole new one for ONE student who was sick when the original exam was given. It doesn't help that the average grade is not going to be high. It was not a difficult exam and the students were not too shabby brain-wise, but oh, such miserable answers. I don't know where they are keeping their heads, not on top of their shoulders one might think. I should try to get through at least one or two more tonight or get into work early tomorrow morning (none of which seems attractive at all).

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