Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just for fun

I heard about this website on Air1 the other day. You can type in your first and last name and it will tell you how many people have the same first name, last name, and first and last name.

I learned that their are over 1.6 million Patricia's making it the 12th most popular first name. There are over 3,000 people with the last name of Conard and there are at least 16 people with the name Patricia Conard. My current last name is more popular than my maiden last name. There are only about 300 people in the US with the last name of Giggy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Personal Training Update

It has been about three months since I began meeting with a personal trainer at the Y and I can definitely tell a difference. Before I started meeting with a trainer, I was only going to the Y about twice a week. I was having a difficult time making it a priority. Now I go to the Y about six times a week. Three of those days I just do cardio and the other three I do both cardio and resistance training. I did not do resistance training before because I was not quite sure what to do. That is where meeting with the trainer has really made a difference. We only meet once a week, but I have committed to following through on the days we do not meet.

I have only lost a little more than 10 pounds during that time, but I know that I have lost some inches because my pants are getting lose. I would tell you how much, but my trainer keeps forgetting to email me my measurements. I suppose I should measure myself so I can keep track of it at home.

I have decided to make it a goal to run in the 10K at the Easter Sun Run. I have participated in the two-mile race and then the 2-mile walk but never the longer run. A couple of years ago I participated in the River Run 10K race. I completed it before the 1 hour and 30 minute time limit, but I did not run the entire race. I am hoping to actually run the whole 10K in April. That means a more organizes training regime. I have gotten to where I can run 4 miles without stopping, so there is hope.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Completely Random

I was thinking the other day what a terrific job the Secret Service does. There are many movies where someone kidnaps or harms the president or a member of his family, but in real life that rarely happens. I think that is a real testimony to the skill and talent of the brave men and women who commit their lives to protecting our leader.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thanks for the Help

Thanks for the ideas. It has given me some ideas on what direction to lead my students for their paper topics. I think that I will have them discuss rules, statues, regulations that are created to force people to behave in a certain way (I'm only referring to rules, statues, and regulations that are designed to protect people from themselves, not stop them from harming others) and then create an argument about whether these rules, statues, and regulations are just. Right now, I am planning on having them think about the theme of personal freedom and what exactly it means and entails and I think that this topic would dovetail with it nicely.

If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please keep them coming.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ideas Needed

Here in four short weeks, my Comp II classes will begin working on the persuasive unit of the class. I have been trying to come up with ideas for paper topics. One idea I had was to have the students research (for lack of a better term) Nanny Laws -- laws like seat belts laws where the government is trying to protect us from ourselves, not necessarily from other people. The problem with this idea is that when I tried to do some research on this topic on my own, I was having difficulty finding good, reliable sources. If I had trouble, then my students would most certainly have trouble.

So, I am wondering what ideas you might have. Do you have any suggestions for current topics that would be engaging for students to use to write an argument paper?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Breath of Fresh Air

Driving home today, I realized just how much I appreciate being able to breathe in fresh air. The air coming in through the vents in my car was very refreshing. It was clean and just made me feel better during the drive. It brought to mind my trip to Philadelphia last April and how un-refreshing the air was. We stayed in downtown Philadelphia and there were very few patches of grass; the areas of grass that did exist in the parks were not enough to overcome the other city smells. During the end of my short stay in Philadelphia, I was longing for the open sky and expanses of green that we enjoy in Kansas. Today reminded me to be grateful for the pleasure of fresh air and sunshine that we often get to enjoy even in the cold months of winter.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What to Say?

I feel like I have not had much to say lately, so I decided to take some inspiration from Facebook. Some of my friends have created lists that tell people some little known information about themselves. I don't think that I can come us with a list of 16 items, so I am just going to begin with one.

Most people probably do not know that when I was in high school I wanted to go to college to become a marine biologist. I think my desire came from watching Jacques Cousteau on television. Whales and dolphins were my primary interest. Unfortunately, WSU did not (and still does not) offer a Marine Biology degree. I did not do much research regarding scholarships available at the appropriate universities so I went to WSU with the idea of majoring in biology. It did not take too many biology and chemistry classes to figure out the science was not my strongest area of study. Ironically, I learned that one of my English professors (the one who recommended that I go to grad school) also wanted to be a marine biologist at one time.

I still enjoy watching shows about whales and dolphins. To me, dolphins seem like the dogs of the ocean and whales are some of the most graceful creatures on this earth especially for their size.