>Things I learned in the park today

>This is just a quick post to give you something new to read while I mull over a thoughtful (I hope!) post on pedagogy, literary studies, and how we should give our students a better sense of our discipline(s), which will probably bore the pants off the non-academics reading this. (Or maybe I’m not giving you enough credit. Maybe you’ll find it interesting.) And then sometime after that post, I will post on “how to talk to anyone about the importance of the liberal arts,” as on Thursday, I will be attending a 3-hour seminar on that subject. No, really. And as I have been hand-picked to be part of a “cohort” of “liberal arts ambassadors” from my university (really!) I think it will be my duty to blog about the subject. Then y’all can tell me if I’m communicating clearly the value of the liberal arts. (Seriously, you know you can comment, right? I know you’re reading — Site Meter tells me how many people come by each day, so I know I’m not talking into the void.)

In the meantime, though, here’s what I learned on my run in the park today:

  • The leaves are already changing here, even though today’s high is supposed to be around 90 degrees. This is very wrong.
  • Golfers in this town seem to consist entirely of old white people, even on the public course. Or maybe it’s just that particular public course. At any rate, I find this odd, especially on this course, given that the surrounding neighborhood is significantly black and that most of the walkers on the trail are young or middle-aged and black.
  • Apparently, I run with the stealth of a hunting cat and I am very, very scary. Every person I passed on my run was significantly startled as I ran by. Some people gasped or jumped. This puzzles me. How could they not hear me? To me I sound like someone doing Lamaze Method to a persistent 4/4 beat. The beat of my feet is so loud and persistent to me, in fact, that I often hear in my head: “Mama loves shortenin’, shortenin’, shortenin’; Mama loves shortenin’, shortenin’ bread.” (I don’t know why that song. I think I learned it as a kid and it stuck with me. The repetition, anyway, seems to suit running. The Boyfriend asks me why this doesn’t drive me crazy. I can’t answer that either.)
  • Falling acorns freak me out. I half think that crazed squirrels are purposely pelting runners. Perhaps these ideas are the effects of the endorphins. Or perhaps the shortening bread song has indeed driven me crazy.

Hmm…and the university trusts me to be an ambassador for the liberal arts???

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