17 December 2012

Ten weeks

. . . being a bi-weekly report on self-imposed unemployment, scholarship, and vocational exploration . . .

Here I sit, in a study space that finally came together hours after I handed in the project that concluded one of my courses. Oh well, it has proved to be an effective space in which to prepare for the final exam in my other course.

We ordered the bookcases online to complete my study area. The desk is a huge bit of quarter-sawn oak that we found for an amazing low price when we lived in Minnesota. It was too large a desk for that house and it is too large for our present house. We often wonder if we shouldn't get rid of it, but just can't bring ourselves to let it go. When this current adventure began, it was fairly obvious that finally this expansive surface would be the place for me to study, and (God willing) to write a thesis.

We ordered the pine bookshelves from an outfit out East, then waited. And waited. And got the credit card bill, but still waited. We called and waited. The semester plodded along. The desk was set up for a work space, with boxes of shelf-destined books stacked to approximate the final project. At some point, it was apparent that the new ideal delivery date had to be after my term paper was completed. That day, last Tuesday, I said to Karen on her way to work, "In my dreams, I come home from classes today, find the shelves delivered, and get them set up before supper." Well, that didn't happen.

Instead, they arrived before I left for class. I dragged them indoors, finished printing the paper and dressing for my class presentation, and left with a shot of adrenaline that I badly needed to make a public presentation on less than 4 hours of sleep. (And yes, I am too old for that.)

I'm not great with my hands. I'm not even good with my hands. Building things is not something I do. Wood and I tend not to get along. So I wasn't as excited as I might otherwise have been, to take delivery of these boxes and realize that their proportions had to mean that these shelves were going to have to be put together. Well, to my very great pleasure, this turned out to be the best "kit" project of all time for me. It went together fairly easily, with good directions and extremely well made materials. The first unit took just under 1.5 hours, and the second in just over 30 minutes. By the time Karen got home from work on Tuesday, the shelves were up on a bare desk, and they met with approval. And mmm . . . they smelled good too! Fresh pine, unstained and unpainted. Love that.

The next day I unpacked the books that have been waiting to go on shelves, and there it was - a semester late, but with plenty more time ahead to enjoy it. I am now diligently using it to prepare for a final I will take in this space, online, Tuesday morning. Onward!

I still have not been on my bike or out for a run. But I have a plan, see, and this mild Chicago December makes it seem realistic. Studying is my job right now, and the exercise I miss will have to kick in during the semester break. But in such a way that I can keep it up when school begins again. One piece of that is definitely having my road bike on a trainer, just to the right of my desk. Yeah, like that won't be distracting. 

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