If you're a teacher, summer is a great time - better than the new year, really, to make and implement a few resolutions. The daily grind of coure prep, grading, etc. is over and you've got more time to establish some new habits in a lower-stress environment that you can hopefully carry over into the new school year.
I've been inspired (again) by the Ted-esque Talks organized by notjenschiz
at the latest Maxicon, hosted with the usual panache and incredible goodwill and generosity by popepat
. Indeed, considering our host was performing in a local theatrical production that very weekend, and so had to miss some of his own big party, it was an especially impressive display of hospitality.
My weekend started off with the second of what may soon become a series of Jonathan Coulton-inspired D&D games. Last year was "Rescue from Skullcrusher Mountain" (the mountain was covered in wolves!) featuring a homemade half-pony half-monkey monster, for which I many indeed have used too many monkeys. This year was "Adventure to Chiron Beta Prime", featuring a climactic final battle with a giant metal Santa Claus with glowing red eyes. Many thanks to bewcastle
for her invaluable help with sewing the little Santa hat that made all the difference. After chortling our way through the adventure, I headed over to a play-test of a new game by a successful board game designer. It was a cooperative game based on the Robin Hood legend, in which the players took the part of the local oppresive nobility trying to suppress those terrible bandits from Sherwood Forest, all while amassing sufficient gold from the locality to provide bribe money to swing the barons of England into revolt against Richard the Lionhearted and in favor of his brother Prince John. We kibbitzed and offered our feedback as the game progressed, which made the pacing a little uneven, but the game was more than robust enough in design to manage those rough seas and the game sailed very successfully into port after a couple hours' rousing play. I wrapped up Saturday reprising my role as Beowulf in graydons
's and notjenschiz
's Harry Dresden LARP, where I had great fun stomping around and being belligerant.
Returning on Sunday, I finally got to play in the justly famous Burgermeister LARP run by karteblanche
with able assistance from ian_tiberius
. It was great and wacky fun, and Melvin the impoverished science whiz managed to get his science experiment into the deep fat fryer for enough cycles to complete itt, bringing him that much closer to winning the local science fair and getting a scholarship to CalTech - hooray! After that, I played in a lightly plotted Goth LARP that afforded some nice opportunities for free-form roleplaying to amusing efffect. The game wrapped early, which was actually nice, since I got to get in some rock band vocalizing and general socializaing before the TedTalks, which were amazing,, all concluded most aplty by rizwank
's heartfelt call to pursue those things we find difficult was doubly powerful in that he walked the walk by facing his own nervousness about public speaking, for which I applaud him. There was lots of courage demonstrated as folks opened up their own lives as examples and anecdotes for their talks, which ranged from exhortations to entrepreneurship to some good informaiton about diet choices to courageous musings on the power of fandom to help ease tough life transitions. All in all, an inspiring lineup!
So what does this all have to do with summer resolutions? Well, as I observed, summer's a great time for me, in particular, to program in some new habits. And making those things public can, I think, help steel the will a bit. So, without further ado - some summer plans.
I'm changing up my weightlifitng regimen. I did a strict New Rules of Weightlifting program for about 18 months starting in January of 2010. The first year was *great* - I got a lot stronger and improved my technique on some exercises that had always given me trouble. But staring in January of 2011, I discovered I was losing energy and motivation. I wasn't getting into a rut - I'd changed up the workouts at the new year. But, i was playing rugby and - duh! - the added physical load was making the demands of the weight lifting regimen just too much to handle. So I've decided to cut back a bit, add in some explosive lifts, and built in a seasonal approach built around next year's upcoming rugby seasons. I also want to get in more flexibility and core work, and so the time I cut out from the weights will be spent there, on more yoga-like exercises.
i'm cutting back on my sugar. This is a direct result of keltraine
's talk about the most recent work on how the body processes sugar. I'm not going to become some sort of fanatical teetotaler - I've got too much of a sweet tooth for that - but since the body processes fructose like it processes alcohol (in the liver) regarding sugary treats like I regard alcoholic treats seems like a good idea. My hope is to lean out a bit through the summer.
Of course, there will be some trips (back east and up north to the Bay Area), the usual summer curriculum revamping, and prepping for a new football season all to fit in, but I'm hopeful that with a more flexible schedule, I'll build in some good habits that can carry over into the new school year.popepat
, I think that's a karma tontine call right there.... Wish me luck!