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that’s currently wearing me out.

I spend my fall semesters teaching information literacy classes, presenting at orientations, co-facilitating in-library training, trying to get through the lunch line at the grill in under 45 minutes, and making sure the faculty in my department have what they need to teach and conduct their research. It’s incredibly busy, and more than that, it’s very scheduled. I am a captive of my calendar. I only do things when something beeps at me (cell phone, iPad, laptop) – often they all beep at once.

Spring is completely different. The lines are shorter, there are fewer classes, I get to work with faculty who are planning ahead for next year giving us ample time to find rare materials (and find funds for them), we’re recovering from our 11 days of winter, it actually rains and things are less crispy and brown. In spring I focus on professional development, I travel to conferences, I actually get to READ things, and I work on articles. On paper, it seems fantastic, and please, don’t get me wrong, I am *incredibly* appreciative to be a part of an organization that values professional development and gives me time off and funds to go to conferences. I know I’m incredibly lucky. And writing? That’s what academics do, right? The professors you see in movies? The ones surrounded by stacks of paper and piles of books. They constantly-disheveled folks that fall asleep on the cool pages of a 500-page tome or curled up on the tiny, dusty couch in their office. (scene cuts to the neglected spouse, kid, dog, garden, etc. back home). It’s glamourous, right? Well, glamourous if you grew up longing for a life surrounded by dark wood shelving, tweed, and elbow patches. It’s this beautiful picture of sacrificing sleep, a healthy diet, and love for the pursuit of knowledge. Right? Right?!

This isn't even that bad.
All my giant books are at home.

Well . . . sure. I still believe a lot of those things, but it feels worse that it appears on screen. I am completely worn out right now. I just got back from a conference a week ago and am heading off to another in 9 days, then another 3 weeks after that, and another 3 weeks after that. Again, it’s really awesome, but I could use some more reflection time, a lot more sleep, and more catch-up time – people don’t stop emailing me when I’m at conference. I’ve learned tons of new things and met cool new people at conferences in the past three months. I love meeting people who are passionate about student success, and this last conference (First-Year Experience) was a mecca for those folks. So basically I’m just a little whiny because I worked late, then stayed up late editing, then got up early. I am mostly done with prep for the next conference (SXSW Interactive) and should be done with travel arrangements for the one after that by the end of this week. Then I’ll have a little break, right? Right? I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll feel 100 times better after I take a nap and have a sandwich. I won’t write an update here though, because I’ll be writing articles like a champ . . . maybe.

This about sums it up. I feel the same way about running.

“I don’t like to write, but I love to have written.” Michael Kanin

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but not often, actually.

It was, as I predicted, my endurance, or, rather, lack thereof, that freaking killed me in assessments on Tuesday. My everything hurts. Really, everything. All of the “muscles” in my thighs are on fire and strangely my lower back on my right side. I strained some muscles in my right arm in that bout where I busted open my face so I refrained from giving/taking hits on my right side. I took a bajillion on my left though and have a nice bruise forming. It was assessments, and we derby folk encourage each other so I kept telling my assessment partner that she wasn’t hitting me hard enough . . . yeah, but she really wasn’t and I wanted her to do well. I was okay with being the punching bag because she hit the floor at least 8 times. (Unfortunately it wasn’t from my power hits, but I’m still going to take partial credit for it – for being a little sneaky and unsteady and tripping people without officially tripping them. But I never fell. I took dozens of hits and never once fell down, stay low, my friends.). Anyway, I avoided taking hits on that side (and, ok, I did throw a few shoulders in with my hip checks), but I did still really irritate my right arm injury. And, no, it wasn’t with contact, it was flinging my arms in the air after I jumped my first obstacle. A tiny tiny, uber-low-to-the-ground obstacle, but an obstacle none the less. I realized I can’t jump things without throwing my arms up in the air. I found this out when on the next lap while cradling my right arm like it was in a sling I attempted the jump and knocked the tiny, almost-flat, cones askew and fell on my face. Yep.

I also managed at some point to do that thing where your feet fly up in the air and you land on your tailbone. Ow. It’s funny, because you think, oh, skating, I’m going to fall on my butt, but I very rarely fall on my butt. I fall everywhere else. Thank god for 187 Killer Pads – they’re like clouds. I’m team Pro-Knee all the way.

I know this is an uber-derby post, but my week has been uber derby. I also did about 1000 hours of transcription for a focus group on the usability of our new library catalog search, but that’s less exciting.

One of my colleagues sent me this link, this article is amazing. I don’t know how many people live in both academia and roller derby, but this article is absolutely right on. I want to hang out with this author and practice tomahawks together.

Academia vs. Roller Derby, By Minerva Cheevy

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