Hi everyone. Â I’m pleased to report that Fall Semester 2011 is 99.99% finished. Â (I’m still waiting for one small assignment from a student so that he can pass the class.) Â This is my last semester teaching three courses; in the spring, my teaching load drops to two courses and should stay that way for quite some time. Â I have my new job, as the Director of the Center for Economic Education, to thank for that.
For years I taught at least three, if not four, courses per semester. Â It’s hard to describe how much more work that third or fourth course adds to my day. Â More emails, more grading, more questions, plus more hours spent in the classroom. Â Maybe it’s the fact that I’m getting older – 40 is less than one year away – but teaching that third course has become increasingly taxing and, honestly, distracting from what else I want/need to do, like publish papers and work on outside projects. Â My heart will always be in the classroom, but fortunately my body will be there less from now on.
Now that the semester is over, I should have more time to write and perhaps even get in a few recreational rides. Â I will be commuting to school at least a day or two this week, but after that I won’t be doing much bike commuting until the new year. Â But I will keep writing; I have a large backlog of articles I’ve been wanting to share, and my blog is coming up on its one-year birthday. Â I already have numerous ideas about what I want to write for that post.
Yesterday was a good day to be biking in Memphis, and by “good” I mean windy and cold. Â (At least the sun was out.) Â I spent the first part of the day grading papers and doing housework, but around 1:30 PM I geared up and headed north to a graduation party for a former student. Â The student is one of the most exceptional I’ve ever had the pleasure of teaching, so I definitely wanted to be there to help her celebrate and to meet her family. Â The party was at a colleague’s house on Jackson Avenue, just east of McLean, which gave me the opportunity to check out the new bike lanes on McLean. Â Here’s a shot of them taken on the north side of North Parkway.
Yes, that is my finger in the shot. Â I blame my gloves.
The party was a lot of fun, and after about an hour and a half, I headed home. Â The ride home was quite a bit easier than the ride to the party; there’s definitely a net elevation decline heading south. Â I really loved having the bike lanes, especially on Madison. Â Traffic seems much more calm since they’ve been installed.
After getting a bit more work done at home, I headed out to another party, this time at a friends house in Midtown. Â Traffic wasn’t too bad, so I biked north on Cooper to Harbert, then headed west, ultimately ending up on that short section of Linden between McLean and Lemaster. Â After getting my party on for a while, I biked home – sober, I promise you – and sacked out for the night.
Here’s a map of my rides that day.
And here’s a clickable link if you’d like more detail.
I’m signing off for now. Â My wife and I are going Cat Caroling tonight. Â What is Cat Caroling, you might ask? Â It’s basically regular caroling, only you substitute “meow” for the words in the carols. Â Try it with Jingle Bells. Â It’s quite fun.