Sunday, April 4, 2010

Plutarch and Running

Jonathan woke me up this morning with this question which he needed to ask me in private. “Mommy have you ever read the famous author Plu-TARCH” (pronounced like archery) “ I grunted yes as I was still asleep “Well have you read the lives “ yes “hmm it seems like a pretty good book can I borrow it….” As I attempted to roll over and go back to sleep with Plutarch on the brain I thought of his marriage treatise to Euridice which then prompted one of those bolt up in bed panics as I remembered I have not sent my paper on Euridice to the person who will read it for me at the Renaissance Society meeting in Venice next weekend. I had a fleeting horrific thought that I’d missed the whole thing. For a host of complicated personal and professional reasons I had to pull out, which I’ve only done once before in my career. And I will be forever in my academic debt to Hedy Law and Shawn Keener for pulling the panel together despite my inability to get myself out of the country this spring. The young Plutarch scholar meanwhile argued that if I was having morning computer (to mail the paper) he should have it too and is not involved in some computer game where he’s shooting things and shouting.

Meanwhile Manuel and I are sort of hobbling around this house this morning. We ran the ten miler yesterday which. It’s a huge community event that goes through campus and down town including our neighborhood. My favorite part is seeing my kids just after mile 5. Rebecca stood on the corner leading a cheering squad of first graders. The second best part is coming back onto campus by the rotunda which this year involved a few music 101 students. The fist year we lived here I told Manuel that I was pretty sure I’d won my division of women over 38 nursing babies under six months old—not in cville, he said. Rebecca’s been quite worried about my training regime and informed me a few weeks ago that I should probably be running a little more and making sure I take vitamins. I have to admit that this event prompts a bit of a competitive edge in me and I spent much of the last couple of weeks whispering to Manuel “I’m going to kick your ass.” This is an unfair competition. Even if he and I are a similar speed in tooling around town I have a sort of Pavlovian response to a starting gun left over from high school cross country which puts me into some other zone. I did enjoy the fact that my 77:50 time zipped me past a group of marines and a couple of gaggles of frat boys. I had to stop the kick your ass thing when I heard Eli say it to his ducky. The big kids have learned to code switch but the little one no. He also said yesterday “mommy can you just open the dam pwaydo” Clearly I need to watch my language.

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