The new year coincides with reading season picking up steam and so every year I feel like my New Year’s Resolutions are somehow tied to reading… at least indirectly.
It’s very easy to let good fitness habits slide when there is a giant pile of files on your desk staring you down. Sometimes I use the gym as a reward: if I get halfway through my reading goal for the day I get to take a break and go to the gym as a way to re-energize me before tackling the second half.
Sometimes that little reward goes by the wayside and I neglect to drag myself to the gym at the end of a reading day (embarrassing confession: I live two blocks from the gym…). Lucky for me, the awesomely supportive community at Tufts has provided me with a little extra motivation: Trek 2 Talloires! It’s a virtual trek to Tufts’ beautiful European Center in the French Alps organized by Tufts Athletics and Human Resources as part of the Healthy@Tufts initiative. Participants log minutes of physical activity and advance along a virtual route with a support group of students, faculty, staff and alumni across the globe. The tracking website even lets you follow other Trekkers for motivation. I’m currently following two other folks from admissions, one of my advisees, a couple of our alumni interviewers, and President Monaco. Now that’s motivation!
A day of reading 25-30 files can be emotionally and ocularly (Wikipedia says that’s a word!) exhausting. You spend your day poking into the personal histories and day to day lives of high school students by way of 12pt type or a computer screen. At the end of many reading days I’ve found myself on my couch with the TV on. Now, don’t get me wrong: I love Bones and Community and House and American Horror Story. Still, I find myself longing for a good book during reading season. This year I am determined not to let my nightstand sit empty.
Once I finish my current book for pleasure (The Visible Man by one of my favorites Chuck Klosterman), I’m turning to my Applicant Book List. You often reference books in your applications and when one of your descriptions or literary anecdotes catches my attention I add it to the list. The book currently at the top of that list is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Feel free to offer recommendations in the comments- I am always willing to add a few more!
You didn’t think I could post without talking about food, did you? Silly blogosphere. Christmas brought some nice additions to my kitchen (Mastering the Art of French Cooking, an instant read thermometer, an immersion blender, a vertical chicken roaster- I tried explaining that last gift to my 5 year old niece. She just looked at me blankly, then giggled and said “want to color?”). I vow they will all be used between now and the end of March! Or least to make a delicious snack for admissions committee…
Wish me luck!