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Historiography, Life Simplification, Running, and Other Assorted Ramblings

Posted by on Oct 21, 2010 | 3 Comments

Life has been rather hectic over the last few months.  The beginning of the school year marks an annual turning point in my routines.  Running and writing take a back seat to lesson planning and classroom management.  This year has been especially difficult as I am now teaching world history instead of my beloved psychology.

High school history, despite good intentions, lacks some intangible quality that relegates the subject to boring facts and figures.  The state curriculum offers little in the way of creativity.  All history should be taught as historiography, or the study of how history is recorded and reported.  Kids have a difficult time understanding the idea that historical “fact” is a matter of interpretation.  Once understood, history takes on an entirely new dimension.  Understanding how historical accounts are framed is a lot more exciting than memorizing a collection of facts.  [sigh] Oh, how I miss psychology…

In other news, Shelly and I are continuing our life simplification process.  We have actively stepped up the process of paying off our debt using Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball method (highly recommended).  We have also continued to eliminate our unnecessary “stuff”.  Do date, I have eliminated almost all of the meaningless crap I had collected over the  years.  I have eliminated about half of my clothing.  The next step- old paintball gear, sports cards, and old toys.  I have been using ebay, but it is not the most efficient process.

My beef with ebay is overly-picky buyers.  I have one in particular that demanded a $5.00 refund on some paintball gear that cost $3.05.  He threatened to leave a negative rating.  Online auction extortion… gotta love it.

I would prefer to sell my stuff to people I know, as much of it has sentimental value.  It is easier to part with those items if I know they are going to a good home.  I recognize the silliness of that concept. 🙂

So…. anyone want a bunch of football and baseball cards from 1990-1992?  How about Optimus Prime or Castle Greyskull?

I recently purchased a new phone, an HTC Incredible.  This is my first foray into the Droid smartphones.  I am thoroughly impressed!  The phone has a ton of useful apps.  It is far superior to my Windows Mobile phone I purchased two years ago.

Some clarification is needed.  Some have asked why i purchased a high-tech phone while simultaneously working to simplify my life.  The answer: productivity.  The phone allows me to be more productive, though not in the traditional “I can now fit more work into each day” sense.  It’s more like a “this phone allows me to do the absolute required crap faster and more efficiently” concept.  What wold normally take about ten hours per week now takes about five.

What can I do with those extra five hours?  I can play with my kids.  I can go for a run with Shelly.  I can lounge around and do nothing.  Freedom from work is a great thing.

On the running front, my “down time” offseason is coming to an end.  Shelly and I are tentatively planning on signing up for the HUFF 50k in Indiana.  This will be my first serious race attempt since my DNF at the North Country Trail 50 miler.  I finally feel recovered from Burning River, which was about nine weeks ago.

I’m excited to have a goal race once again, especially heading into winter.  It helps with motivation, and should help break up the monotony of the school year.  Of course, it helps to have the Hobby Jogga crew… several have already made a verbal commitment to join us in Indiana.

In other running news, the Western States lottery registration opens this weekend.  Once again, I will enter with hopes of being chosen.  The estimated odds this year should be around 12-14%.  I have my fingers crossed.

On the book front, sales of The Barefoot Running Book have been going well.  The ebook version of the second edition is now available from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  The book is also available from the following retailers:

The book will soon be available in many more retail locations.  Also, I am working on a dedicated page specifically for the book itself.  I will add the URL as soon as it is finished.

Finally, check out the new dedicated website I set up specifically for the book:

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  1. Aaron
    October 22, 2010

    I’m in the same boat with my comics. I have several thousand worthless issues to get rid of after hauling them around for years and respect the medium too much to just throw them in the recycling. I’ve decided to settle for whatever local shops will give me instead of dealing with the work involved in trying to auction them. When they’re gone, I wonder what will have felt better, paying off my loans last year or finally getting rid of all those boxes.

  2. kelly
    October 21, 2010

    I did the Huff relay several years ago. Mitch Harper is a friendly race director. If you haven’t run this event before, it’s mostly a trail run that covers a 10.3 mile loop three times. The weather is a huge variable. It’s not uncommon to run in a foot of snow, or, to run in mud.

  3. Elizabeth
    October 21, 2010

    I love using craigslist to sell my stuff, avoid the auction fees, people get to see before buying and am selling to local people so no packaging or shipping.