24 September 2006

Directing, Teaching, and Cycling--Whew!

Holy mackerel, is it almost October already? And the last time I posted anything on this blog was in early August???!!!
Bad blogger, bad blogger, bad blogger!

OK, now that I've got that out of my system...

The fall semester is in full swing at Panhandle U. I foolishly let myself be talked into taking on not one but two directorships this semester: Women's Studies and the Composition program. Yikes! WS doesn't heat up much until the spring, when we hold our annual Women's Studies Conference, but with Composition, it's always something. If it's not reassuring nervous first-time teachers, it's committee meetings, or reviewing syllabi, or answering advising questions, or . . . well, you get the idea. And I just found out we have to start working on spring scheduling already. Double yikes! Fortunately, I'm pretty good at delegating authority whenever possible, but it's not always possible.

But, on to more exciting things: I got a new bicycle!!! Well, a new-to-me bicycle. A 2005 Bianchi Veloce--steel frame, Campagnolo components, Ergopower shifters, and that gorgeous trademark Bianchi celeste color--lovely blue-green. I've always wanted a Bianchi, and actually had one for a while, that I got in a trade, but it was really too big for me and I never could get comfortable on it. And it didn't have the celeste paint job. Everything on this Veloce is made for a small female rider--the handlebar (Deda 4 Girls), the shifters (sized for small hands), and the short, sloping top tube (reduces standover height and reach to bars). Still needs a little tweaking to make my 53-year-old back happier, and I intend to try clipless pedals (which my neighbor calls "stapling your feet to the pedals LOL) in a month or so. She's such a sweet ride.

Her name? Just yesterday, on our first near-20-mile ride, she whispered it to me: "Professor Celestina Sprout"--a conflation of the color and homage to Professor Sprout from the Harry Potter books. From Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets:
"Professor Sprout was a squat little witch who wore a patched hat over her flyaway hair; there was usually a large amount of earth on her clothes and her fingernails would have made Aunt Petunia faint."
Now Prof. Sprout resides in our storage room, under the house, waiting to whisk me to fantastic places. Here she is.

Just now we're training to ride a metric century in October--that's 62.5 miles. I've done 40 pretty recently, but I want to get a little more Time In The Saddle (T. I. T. S.) before the big day.

Anyway, Dear Readers, sorry I've been so silent lately. I'm working hard, riding my bike when I can, and I'll try to find more time for you in the future.