Friday, March 31, 2006

Day 54 -- Jogger's Progress


I decided to set a goal of 20 days of running in April. I ran 17 in January, 18 in February, and 19 in March, so it seems like a natural target. That means five days a week for all four weeks. Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Day 53 -- Tunnels

Somewhere in here, I'm running through the Kittatinny Mountain Tunnel and the Blue Mountain Tunnel. They were part of the original Pennsylvania Turnpike, built during the 30's. This was America's first "Superhighway," and at the time, it was a miracle how far you could get and how fast. There were seven tunnels at the time, but three of those have been abandoned.

I ran 5.6 miles today, and if I drag myself out of bed in the morning, I'll make my goal.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My Lunch with Helen Thomas

Today was the day of our "Distinguished Lecturer" for 2006. We don't have a huge budget, so we usually get people who are only peripherally known. A few years ago, we had Arun Ghandi, whose grandfather was somewhat well-known. The year after that, we had Alina Fernandez, the daughter of Fidel Castro. Last year, we had Jerry Greenfield, who is literally half-famous. You likely don't know who he is unless I mention his name with that of his partner: Ben and Jerry. So this year, we had Helen Thomas, legendary White House correspondent, who is famous by virtue of having covered the last nine presidents.

Frankly, I was disappointed. I was happy that she identified herself as an unabashed liberal and a feminist, but, having done so, she didn't make a very good case for either liberalism or feminism. I agreed with about everything she said, but if I hadn't, I don't see that she would have convinced me. I'm pretty certain that the people sitting there who are conservative didn't hear much more than a bunch of Bush-bashing. She didn't present any particular evidence for her conclusions, and she didn't even give us a lot of cool inside scoop about the Presidents. I'm pretty sure I could have given that talk myself after an hour or so of research.

The question-and-answer session was particularly disappointing. Her prepared speech was fairly disjointed, but her response to questions was really scattered. It didn't help that she had trouble hearing the questions, so often she didn't even try to address the real question that was asked. I can't help but think that if Helen Thomas were in the audience, she wouldn't have let the speaker get away with it.

There was a kind of cool upside. I was one of a select few invited to join her for lunch. (Ironically, this is because of my membership in the Committee from Hell, about which I was complaining only yesterday.) Over lunch, I thought she was a bit better. She was still very opinionated, but I thought she at least stayed on point.

Overall, I can't help but wishing we had had a better speaker. If we are going to get an unabashed liberal to come to campus, I wish it would be someone who could give us liberals something to be proud about.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Committee from HELL

We had another meeting of my least favorite committee today. I just never finish one of those meetings without the horrible feeling that another hour (in this case, 70 minutes) of my life has been sucked away, and I'll never get it back. I'm no great fan of committees anyway, but this one is one of the worst.

We do, in fact, accomplish some good. We are the committee that makes recommendations about some of the teaching awards given by the University, and also about which applications for System-wide awards to send forward. That is a good thing, and I think we do it well.

And when that is done, we sit around and debate how to improve the University. We never actually take any action, or anything. We just talk, talk, talk. Today, we were supposed to come up with an action, something, ANYTHING, to do about a particular report that raised some questions about how well our students are learning what we say they are learning. And we just kept sittting around, debating the meaning of one of the points, and how we could get more information on it. The Chair kept trying to get us back on track, but he's too polite, and no one would take the hint.

I've got to get off this committee.

Day 52 -- Newburg

Greetings from Newburg, PA. There are a lot of little towns around here, with many cute little pictures. However, Newburg features, right there on their home page, right at the top, so that you can't miss it, a "Political Corner", with links to Ann, The Drudge Report, David Limbaugh, and more! I figure that it's my kind of town!

I just have to wonder exactly how that got put together. Is the town really so conservative, and so like-minded, that they all thought that was a good idea? Or is just put together by a small group, or even one person, who leans to the right? It does say the whole town is only 355 people.

Anyway, I ran 5.6 miles today, and I felt every inch of it. I am giving myself tomorrow off. My legs need it, and I need it. If I can still run on Thursday and Friday, I'll make my 100 miles for March.

I also passed a milestone. Today I reached the halfway point on my journey on I-76. I am now a little closer to Pittsburgh than to Philadelphia. I left Philly on February 10, 46 days ago. Forty-six days from now is Tuesday, May 16. Wish me luck.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Day 51 -- Rest Stop

It's 25 miles between exits out here in the wilds of Pennsylvania. I suppose when I get out to the west, 25 miles is going to look like nothing. Anyway, I won't be to the next exit until tomorrow, so I stopped in to the rest area, and went to the Roy Rogers. I can't say that I've ever been in a Roy Rogers before.

I was tired today, but I held out for 5.6 miles. If I can do that three more times this week, I can make my 100 miles for March.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Day 50(!) -- 10K

If you're paying attention, you may have noticed that I did not report in on Friday. I had meant to pop up and get in a good run after Thursday's near debacle. Instead, I created a total debacle by turning off the alarm and rolling over.

So I got up today and ran outside. It wasn't really warm enough, but at least the sun is up at 6:00 by this time of the year. There is a 5K course that they use once a year, which runs right by my house, and I ran it twice. So it was a good, long, healthy run, and I feel good about it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Run this one by the Institutional Review Board

A question from the Stats homework:
A research team believes that herbal tea has remarkable restorative powers. They obtain permission to test their theory using residents of a local nursing home as subjects. Briefly outline an experiment to test this theory.

The answer:
Take all the local residents of the nursing home and group them according to their health...Then once they are in their groups, they will be cut in half....


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Has a college ever cut its way to greatness?"

From Dean Dad. Read the whole thing.

"You can't be Christian and pro-choice."

So says a bumper sticker that I saw today. I've seen it before, and it has always bugged me, and today I decided to blog about it. This post may touch on more sensitive topics than my usual "I ran 5.3 miles today." I apologize in advance if I offend you.

I recognize that there are genuine disagreements about the morality of abortion. Some people really, sincerely believe that a fertilized egg is as human as a one month old baby. If that's what you think, then, yes, you ought to be fighting abortion. You should be not just anti-abortion, but anti-choice. You shouldn't stand idly by while babies are killed.

The reason that I'm pro-choice is that it's not nearly so clear to me that a fertilized egg really is a baby. It has the potential to grow into a baby, but I don't think it is one, yet. I think calling it a baby is a result of black and white thinking. It's certainly a baby during the ninth month, even though it hasn't been born yet. And there's no point along the way when we can say, "There, it's a baby." So it must have been a baby all along. I just don't buy that. I think it can develop from not-a-baby to a baby gradually.

I understand that there is genuine disagreement about this. I don't think I'm necessarily right, and I don't jump (as some pro-choicers do) to attribute malevolent motives to pro-lifers.

What really bugs me about this bumper sticker is the idea of declaring who is allowed to be a Christian and who is not. It takes an awful lot of nerve to declare that someone who thinks they're Christian really isn't, because they disagree with you. How does one get to that level of certainty? "Yeah, there are over two billion self-identified Christians in the world, in no fewer than 34,000 separate Christian groups, but I'm the one who decides who's really Christian."

Somehow, I have a vision of the ancient Pharisees with bumper stickers (on their camels?) that say, "You can't be Jewish if you are a tax collector," and "You can't be Jewish if you are a prostitute." Guess what, people! That's not the message that Christ came to spread.

So, yeah, if you believe abortion is murder, then fight to stop it. If you think there's a moral imperative here, so be it. But don't tell me I'm not a Christian just because we disagree. That's taking it too far.

Day 49 -- Plodding Along

I popped out of bed this morning ready to take a long run, as has become my habit on Thursday. Maybe I'd make 6 miles, or 6.3, or even 7. Well, ha! I got out on the track and my legs were like lead. I thought I was running through mud. I made just the 5 miles, and that just barely. I hope I'll get some pep back tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Day 48 -- No photos today

Blogger steadfastly refuses to upload a photo for me. Not that the photo was any great prize, but still....

Anyway, I made another 5.3 miles, and I am not at milepost 222 on I-76. That should be worth something.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It's Official -- Almost

Dear Hiram,

I am pleased to inform you that, after review of the record of your professional performance and the evaluations of that performance made at the several levels of review, I am recommending to the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System that you be appointed, with tenure, effective August 23, 2006.

Please accept my congratulations and my appreciationi for the record of past acheivement and future promise reflected by this tenure consideration.


Ralph W. Chancellor

Mrs. Jogger and I are taking this as the official word. I guess it still could be denied by the Regents. I don't know when they will consider it or what sort of notification I'll get when they do. But we aren't going to wait. Once it's past the Chancellor, we are celebrating.

Day 47 -- Carlisle

I ran 5.3 miles again today. I'm almost to the exit for Carlisle, and I thought that I'd drop in to Dickinson College. I don't really know anyone there now, but I have a friend who used to teach there. I've always been impressed with it, and now I get a chance to see what a beautiful campus it is.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Day 46 -- Back to the Grind

Spring break is over. Back to work. Attendance was good in my classes today, and most of the students seemed to be rested and focussed. I think the classes went well. I should probably have spent more time reviewing everything we were doing right before they left. It's all fresh in my mind, but probably not in theirs.

I ran 5.3 miles today on the track. It was nice not to be cold, but boring to be back to running around in circles. I need to run nine more days in March to make my goal. There are nine more weekdays in March. Either I need to run every one, or I need to run this weekend, which would mean outside. We'll see what the weather does.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Yesterday was a pretty good day. We had our usual share of battles, big and small, but no lasting damage was done. (The Littlest Jogger did earn a Sesame Street bandage for his forehead by wrestling with a visitor twice his size, but his survival seems probable.) Then, just as we were settling down for the night, the First Little Jogger got upset. She remembered that she had a project that was due this week and she wasn't sure how much she had left to do or when exactly it was due, and how was she going to get it all done? All this at 9:00 on a Saturday night.

So, we finally got her calmed down, and got her to sleep. This morning, we talked to her teacher (who goes to our church) and she's already done with the part of the project that's due this week, and she's got plenty of time to finish the rest of it.

It's just so hard to see her becoming a little perfectionist. She is so much like I was at that age, and so much like Mrs. Jogger, too. (At least she says so -- I didn't know her at that age.) We have both worked hard to figure out when to relax and not worry about things we can't control. I'm afraid that the First Little Jogger is going to have to learn that herself the hard way.


It's a good thing for the Teaching Carnival, otherwise I might have missed the Facebook controversy. A good summary is here, but there are also interesting things here and here and here and here.

A quick summary: Facebook is a site where people (primarily undergraduates) can form different groups for the purpose of social interaction. A group of students at Syracuse University formed a group specifically to ridicule a particular Teaching Assistant, and they posted some really nasty stuff. Their group came to the attention of the administration, and they were disciplined.

One thing that strikes me is how incredibly naive these students seem to have been about the process. One is quoted as saying,
I am horrified I had anything to do with what occurred and I still feel just horrible that I hurt another person’s feelings.

What in the world did she think was going to happen? If she had hired a skywriter to write those things over campus, it would have been a good guess that the TA's feelings would have been hurt. If she had posted flyers around the academic buildings, or if she had taken out a full page ad in the college newspaper, it could be anticipated that the TA would find out. What she did was more public and more permanent than that. Why in the world did she think that the TA wouldn't find out?

Another student is quoted as saying,
I think that the group shouldn’t have affected a mature educator confident in her abilities.

I think that's simply foolish. I don't know anyone who could shrug off comments of this nature. And the students knew that the TA was not a "mature educator confident in her abilities." I think the student is just trying to excuse her behavior after the fact.

What really happened, in my opinion, is that the students somehow imagined they had a level of privacy that they didn't have. They thought this was the electronic equivalent of sitting around your dorm room bitching about your TA, but it isn't. It's far too public. And I think that it behooves us all to remember that our remarks are literally published world wide, and have a potential to reach people that we don't expect to reach.

Was the university correct to discipline the students? I can't say. I don't know what processes were followed, and what opportunities the students had to defend themselves. At the very least, I hope that these students have come to the realization that they need to think through their actions a little more carefully.

Friday, March 17, 2006

March Madness

I haven't watched much basketball for the last few years. I enjoy it, but it takes too much attention. It's easier to grade or surf or do crosswords during football, which is about 90% inaction, and 3/4 of the rest is replays.

However, I do love the first weekend of the Men's Division I basketball tournament. Forty-eight games in four days, all incredibly important. Switching from one close game to another, an upset always brewing, and often happening. It's much more fun than, say, the actual Final Four, which is usually two number one seeds, a number two, and a number 4. Some years, there's a "Cinderella" in the form of a number 6.

Unfortunately, the biggest upset so far this year has been one I wasn't rooting for. I've always been a Big Ten fan. Grandpa Jogger grew up rooting for one Big Ten school, and went to another. I've almost always lived in a Big Ten state, and in fact have two degrees from Big Ten schools myself. So, Iowa got shocked by somebody called "Northwestern State" -- there's a "Northwestern State"? -- and Wisconsin (one of my alma maters) went down. Right now, I'm watching Michigan State (Grandpa Jogger's alma mater) lose to a guy called George Mason. Oh, well, that is, as they say, the way the ball bounces.

OK, I know what I'm doing this evening...

Teaching Carnival #7 is up over at The Salt-Box. I've already begun exploring...

Of course, I started to see what (if anything) of mine was included. (Does everyone do this, or am I just particularly vain.) Four of my posts have been included. In retrospect, I like three of them and the other is, well, not really my favorite.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


I didn't get out this morning. It's not so much that I decided not to exercise, but that I never decided to exercise. I woke up thinking I'd take the day off, but it seemed pretty nice out, so I wavered. Then the kids started to get up, and I didn't want to run out and leave them to wake up the other adults. So, I didn't go. Perhaps tomorrow, if the weather is OK.

Mrs. Jogger and I did go for a long walk, but we stopped at the bakery, so that was pretty much a wash as far as calorie balance. Grandma Jogger lives in the same town where I went to high school and college. Mrs. Jogger and I went down to campus and looked around. We've been gone long enough (20 years this spring, for me) that it's almost a surprise to see something that hasn't changed. We did run into one of our old professors (she was a young professor back then) and had a nice long chat, which was good.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Spring Break E-mail From a Student

You dont understand how difficult this was to do in florida, but here is the assignment due for monday.

Cry me a river, pal....

Day 45 -- A Good Bookstore

Still bumming around the Harrisburg area. I was just Googling for more images, and I ran across Midtown Scholar bookstore. What I love about this photo is that, before I so rudely entered the picture, it was just a photo of bookshelves. Now that's a bookstore: the first thing that they show you on their web page isn't the cover of the latest Grisham novel. It isn't a photo of the strip mall where they live. It isn't their new coffee bar. It's books.

I ran five miles today in the cold. I'm happy that I can make it in below freezing weather, but I don't think I'll make it a habit. I'm sure that I wouldn't have done it this week if it weren't for this blog. If I hadn't publicly committed to running 100 miles in March, I'd be sitting at home in the morning, griping about the cold and having an extra hot chocolate.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Day 44 -- Postcard from Harrisburg

I'm still in the Greater Harrisburg area. And I found this really great postcard at this site, so I'm posting it.

I went out first thing this morning. It was cold and windy again, but I made about 4.2 miles. Tomorrow is promising to be still cold, but less windy. Then Thursday we're supposed to get precipitation over night, so tomorrow may be the last day I run until we get home.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Day 43 -- Harrisburg

I first ran into Frank in Trenton, and I guessed then that we would meet again. He is visiting the state capitols the old fashioned way.

I ran outside today, in spite of the cold weather. First thing in the morning, it was kind of misting out, and I didn't go. But by midmorning, that had stopped, and I went out around 10:30. It was cold and really windy, but I made about 4.4 miles. I'm happy with that.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Day 42 -- Sunday

I ran outside today, for the first time this year. It was cold, but good. I'm a wimp about these things. For at least a month, while driving to the gym first thing in the morning, I've passed people who are out running in God's green air. But I don't like running outside when it's colder than about 40. I'm just hoping it will be warm enough for me this next week, because there's no handy gym near Grandma Jogger's house.

When I run outside, I don't have a measured route. I just go where the spirit moves me. So I'm not absolutely sure how far I ran. I ran 44 minutes, and put myself down for 4.9 miles. I've been running pretty consistent 8.5 minute miles at the gym, but I figure that the hills slowed me down a bit.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Spring Fever

Today was the last day before Spring Break, and it was also the first sunny, reasonably warm day for a while. So attendance was not good, in general, across campus. A lot of instructors give up, and cancel class on the Friday before break, but that seems to me to be feeding the problem. The more people cancel class, the more students feel like they can skip out on the few classes that remain.

I, personally, had a quiz in my Linear Algebra class. Only two people missed, and one is a really good student, who talked to me about it yesterday, and dropped off her homework early. I also had two students leave after the quiz. One had talked to me about it, and the other hadn't. Talk about an insult! Basically, they can't waste another 25 minutes to listen to me. They have places to be. I'd like to write on their quizzes "Screw you, too!" but I'll resist the urge. The one who talked to me about it seemed properly sheepish, and he said he had an appointment in Madison, which might well be true.

In my Modern Algebra class, I not only didn't have a quiz, I told them in advance that I wasn't going to cover new material, just go over questions on the problems that they are still working on. I only had 11 out of 21. Of the 10 missing, I know a few were students who are pretty much on top of everything, and probably felt they could skip the result. A few others talked to me in advance about having to leave town early. I don't like it, but I'll live with it. The two worst students, who need a lot more extra help, skipped. They've made it a semi-regular habit to miss on Friday afternoons, anyway. I wonder why they are the two worst students?

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Richard III

Mrs. Jogger and I went to see a fantastic production of Shakespeare's Richard III last night. It was put on by a touring company from the American Shakespeare Center out of Staunton, Virginia. These guys are terrific. If you're a Shakespeare fan, and they come anywhere near you, go!

This play is absolutely carried by Richard, of course. He's on stage almost the whole time, and when he isn't, he's manipulating the characters from off stage. This Richard was subtly clever, repugnantly evil, and more than a little bit crazy. It was just a joy. There were only eleven players to play 52 speaking parts, so they did a lot of quick switches. It was sometimes a bit confusing, but they handled it really well. It was astonishing how the same actor could come back on and be so incredibly different.

The show did not sell well (alas!) so we got pretty good seats, even though we didn't get them until last week. It turned out not to matter, since we walked in and saw a sign that said "Feel free to sit on stage." They had two rows of seats on either side of the stage. We were early (of course) so we took two right in front, stage right. We were so close to the action we could have reached out and touched the players. I swear, one or two times I moved my feet, afraid of tripping someone. This is all part of their idea of recreating Shakespeare the way he was meant to be played: up close and personal. Sometimes on an aside, they'd look me right in the eye and tell me what they were up to.

Mrs. Jogger and I have always loved the theater in general, and Shakespeare in particular. We met in college backstage at a production of Hedda Gabler. We spent a semester in London, where we were required to see -- I think -- three plays, one by Shakespeare. We actually saw about a dozen, eight by Shakespeare. Lots of places, you could show up on the night of the show with your student I.D. and get whatever seats were left over dirt cheap. We were acutely conscious of the fact that, even if we someday made it back, we'd never be able to do so much so cheaply.

We just had a great time. I'm so glad we got a sitter. We need to do more of this.

Day 41 -- Hershey

Coming up on the exit for Hershey, home of the Hershey Candy Company. I can smell it from here.

I ran 5.3 miles today. I actually woke up before the alarm, so I got to the gym late. That actually does make sense. I was ahead of schedule, so I sat down to read for a while, and...well, I got to the gym late.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Weird question

A student asked me today about how to get Minitab (our statistics package) to make a certain type of graph. She wanted it for work or something. So I said to bring the data to my office, and I could show her how to do that. She asked "Are you able to do that, if it's not for class?" It was the "able to" that got me. If she'd asked if I was willing to do that, it would have been a natural question (although it would have been pretty clear she didn't know me well.) But "able to"? Like the dean was going to come by and find out I was helping a student with an unauthorized assignment and dock my pay.

Day 40 -- Long Day

I ran six miles today. I wasn't sure that I wanted to take the time, but I felt sooooo good (and soooo guilty for having skipped yesterday) that I went ahead and did it. Good day.

The rest of the day, I just kept on running. I had to be in at 8:00 to give the Modern Algebra exam to a student who couldn't make it to the exam yesterday. (I have extended time, but of course not everyone can make it when I schedule the exam.) Then at 9:00, Mrs. Jogger and I met the family therapist. This is going well, but it's frustrating, because we are both results-driven, and family therapy doesn't work that way. You can't just push a few buttons, reformat the hard drive and bingo, Happy Family. Then back to campus at 10:00 to give the exam to another student. Class from 12:30 to 3:30. It went well, but attendance was low, since Spring Break is in two days, and for a lot of students, a nine day break just isn't enough, so they have to stretch it to an eleven day break. Picked up the oldest Little Jogger from play auditions at 4:00, and now I have a short break before Mrs. Jogger and I go out to see Richard III at the University. We got a sitter on a week night! Great celebration all around.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Getting Students to Appreciate General Education

Our university has participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement (or something like that) and I am on a committee that is in charge of analyzing the results and making recommendations. One thing that we have found out is that our students don't seem to appreciate the General Education requirements as much as we would like them to. This has a sort of dog-bites-man obviousness to me, but we have decided to try to effect change.

One suggestion that is being floated is to require instructors of GenEd courses to include the goals of the GenEd program in their syllabi. This has the twin virtues of being a lot of work and completely useless. As if something in the syllabus is liable to get the student's attention. If you have something really horrible that you'd like to keep secret, put it in your syllabus. I sometimes put my grading keys in my syllabus, where I know they will be safe from the prying eyes of the students.

Not that I have a whole lot better suggestions. The fact is that a large group of students don't value a general education. This is true at any school I've ever been to. Hell, a good deal of our faculty only pay lip service to General Education. As long as we've got advisors who say things like, "OK, let's sign you up for an Ethnic Studies course and get it out of the way," we're going to keep seeing that attitude in students.

One thing that's working against us is the smorgasbord nature of our GenEd requirements. Three courses from these three areas, and two from these three, and at least two lab sciences. Nothing hangs together. There's no opportunity to say to the students, "Here's how all of these various ideas add up to being a well-educated person." Some students figure it out on their own, sooner or later. But many just don't. I don't know if we can change that. Certainly not by including it in the syllabus.

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Happy Birthday, Little Jogger!

Today is the first Little Jogger's birthday. It's hard to believe that it has been 11 years already. Seems like just yesterday she was a squirming little ball of nothing.

She has grown up to be a pretty good kid. She's basically a happy kid. She's more serious and thoughtful than any of the other three, I think. She can also be a perfectionist. Last night she had a little melt-down because she had to write a diary entry for a colonial era shopkeeper for her Social Studies class, and she couldn't find out what the shopkeeper would have called the police force. I'm sure half her class had their characters wearing Reeboks and playing Nintendo, but she wanted historical accuracy.

She's by far the most sensible of the kids. None of the other three keeps money very long. She's got $46 put aside, for something really special.

I'm pretty glad that I have least most of the time.

Day 39 -- Lebanon

I'm not quite to the Lebanon exit, but close enough. I might visit Lebanon Valley College tomorrow. If nothing else, I need practice spelling "Lebanon."

5.3 miles. Felt good. I think I have less wind resistance without the beard.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Blogger's Block

Sorry I haven't written anything profound (or even interesting) lately. Part of it is that I haven't had a whole lot of time on the computer. I've been grading, and trying to spend time with my family, and even watching some television. Part of it is that I've become acutely conscious of having an actual audience. After the Teaching Carnival went up, I got a good spike of hits, and even after that died down, I seemed to have increased numbers for a while. So I felt like I couldn't just write what I was thinking. I had to write SOMETHING INTERESTING. Which was just too much pressure to put on myself.

So, I just need to relax and write what I feel like writing.

Day 38 -- A New Look

Having worn a beard for almost all of the last 11 or 12 years, I went and shaved it off the other day. This is actually the second time I've tried this (hence "almost all") but the last time was during the summer. What was I thinking? I didn't have any incentive to keep shaving, and I didn't. I made it eight days. So the over/under line for this new state of beardlessness is eight days. Place your bets now.

I ran 5.3 miles today. That took me reasonably near Ephrata, PA, where I took the opportunity to visit the Ephrata Cloister. This is me, standing in front of the Cloister's academy.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

You gotta laugh, or you're gonna cry

When I put together the Modern Algebra assignment that I am now grading, I assigned problem 13. However, when I went to put together my lecture, I decided I'd take that one off and do it in class. Only I forgot to take it off. So basically, I assigned a problem that I had done, word-for-word, in class. You guessed it: 6 of 19 students got the problem wrong, including 4 who got zero points. I guess I should be grateful that it wasn't worse....

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Day 37 -- Between Exits

I made 5.3 miles today. The first 3.5 went pretty quickly, but the last bit was kind of tough. But I made it. My legs are a little bit sore, now.

I am well out into the boonies of Central Pennsylvania. There are 20 miles between the exits, here. So, not much too report. Sorry that I haven't said anything interesting all week. I'll try to come up with something for tomorrow.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Day 36 -- Lancaster

6.3 miles today. Thursday is turning out to be my day for running long. (This is partly because, alas, Wednesday is turning out to be my day for loafing.) I'll probably pay for it tomorrow, but today it felt good.

This took me past the exit for Lancaster. Lancaster County, I've found, is the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. I stopped into a very nice Bed and Breakfast, the Osceola Mill House.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

No Progress

Well, I'm starting March off with a whimper. Mrs. Jogger isn't feeling well, so I decided to stay home this morning to help the little Joggers get ready for school. They are pretty self-sufficient -- they make their own breakfasts and lunches, and pick out their own clothes. However, it's nice to have an adult around to referee the inevitable fights ("You two stop not touching each other!") and deal with the inevitable crises ("What do you mean you can't find your head? It was screwed on yesterday.")