Wednesday, September 21, 2011


As a runner and a stressed out graduate student, I would like to give everyone out there pointers as what not to do/say in certain situations, based on personal preference and common sense.

When you see a runner…

* Please do not slam on your horn when you get right next to a runner or runners and scare the heck out of them. Refrain from your horn for two reasons: 1. It’s just rude. 2. If the runner jumps high enough and falls in front of your car, she probably has a super awesome lawyer friend and/or lawyer relative who will take you for all your worth. Including your sweet little vehicle with the loud horn.

* Please do not let your dogs roam the neighborhood. Especially if that dog (or, in some cases, DOGS) are pit bulls that like to approach runners. Sure, your dog may have never bitten anyone before, but we don’t know that. We just see a big dog running towards us (sometimes barking) with no owner around.

* Please, no catcalls. Seriously, are you that desperate to whistle or call out after females who (very likely) have no makeup on, their hair pulled up, and are dressed in athletic gear? And when did that ever work for ANYONE?

Am I missing anything here?

Now, let’s move on to comps. My stress level seems to go up a notch every day comps gets closer. I worry for my students, especially considering I told one that her column was a “train wreck” and I threw a cell phone across a room. The train wreck comment is par for the course, but I’m usually pretty good with inanimate objects (of course, if this inanimate object had been operating properly, it would not have been thrown). At any rate: Things NOT to say to a comps student:

1. “No one ever fails comps.”
Do not tell me this!! I want to hear that EVERYONE fails and that if I mess this up, it’s okay!! (It also doesn’t help that while most students can easily find the answers to their questions, three of mine are application questions…which means the answers aren’t readily available. I have to apply my knowledge of the subject matter and come up with an idea of an answer.)

2. “Are you studying?”
Seriously? Seriously? This is only the most important test of my LIFE. No, I’m not studying AT ALL.

Oh, and another issue that makes my voice go to a pitch only dogs can hear: I need straight answers when I ask questions. Not, “You may not need to know that.” Please, a yes or no answer for heaven’s sake.

So is anyone else wondering how running and comps correlate? My amount of running is directly affected by my stress level, currently from comps (i.e. running is the dependent variable, and comps is the independent variable). And I have hard evidence to back it up:

In July, when I wasn’t worried about comps, I ran 34 miles.
In August, when I started studying for comps (oh, and MOVED), I ran 50 miles.
This month, I’ve currently run 40 miles and will run 6 more tonight.



Brooke said...

that's some incredible mileage, especially if you're not training for something specific!!

speak for yourself on the catcalls. i pass the time on long runs counting honks and hollers. its very entertaining ;)

sara said...

so with all that running.....are you studying? :) I'm sorry! I just couldn't resist!!!

Here's what I tell my over achiever grad student daughter who totally stresses out on EVERY test only to receive a 100 most of the'll do fine.

comforting..I know. :)