January 17, 2007

Shoe blogging

I won't blog about the video ipods that the dean helped distribute today for the faculty who are participating in the podcasting program for the college, except to say that I'll figure out how to use the Belkin TuneTalk to record spontaneous material for podcasting, and I managed to get a decent acrylic cover for the thing before I scratched the screen deeply. Whew! (I watched one of John Merrow's NewsHour segments while waiting for something this afternoon, so it really is a professional tool, or at least I'll use it for that most of the time.)

So what will I blog about?

I'm one of six faculty in my program area who are banding together to produce a series of podcasts for the mega-multi-section undergraduate class, so that students get more than one faculty member's perspective on the major assignment for the course and to tie together the different sections together. In some ways, I suppose we're using the podcasting project to guest teach in a virtual sense, so we don't have to schedule going to each other's classes. For the all important transitional music clips (from ccMixter), my colleagues preferred the 19th century Spanish composer's piano piece to the techno-Goth selection I preferred (or at least am guessing the students would prefer). But thanks to a sound booth in the college and the Audacity program, we have three podcasts in the can, one up already, and we'll continue rolling. (We're doing short podcasts, less than 5 minutes apiece, but they have scripts so students with hearing impairments or who have dial-up connections still have easy access to the content.)

Finally, to the shoes. No, not yet: I'm still working on the next article for Education Policy Analysis Archives. In many ways, I'm now paying the price of having worked furiously on the book manuscript (revision) over break. The article should be mostly prepared sometime tomorrow morning or early afternoon.

Now to the shoes. Oh, wait: I had to go buy a printer cartridge for our home computer, because the old one had died out, having saved the youngest child from the raging stream behind the house. Wait a second. Maybe that's from another story, because the dead printer cartridge's name isn't Farley.

In any case, after all of that, I realized that just a few painful steps' walk away from the Chain Office Supply Store (where I had just purchased the replacement for Farley the Printer Cartridge—we'll call the new toner cartridge Farley II), there was a Chain Shoe Store sandwiched between two Chain Clothing-though-I-wouldn't-let-my-daughter-wear-any Stores,* and my old work shoes have now been so late for a resoling (if they can be resoled) that my right heel is on a first-name basis with the sidewalk. So I figured, "I'm so glad I went for the dorky socks-with-sandals look tonight!" and walked right in (to the shoe store, not the clothing-though-I-wouldn't-let-my-daughter-wear-any stores).

So here we get to the shoe-shopper's version of The Divine Comedy. You see, I tried on more than 20 pairs of shoes. Before we go further, I should note that I am one of those people who walk into a store, grab four pairs of identical trousers, try one on to make sure it fits, and walk out with the purchase in 10.32 seconds. I'm not finicky, and what's more, I don't like shopping. But shoes are a serious matter, especially when I am on my feet for several hours on teaching days this semester.

How does it feel to try on 20 pairs of shoes when you'd rather the first one do? That's Inferno. About halfway through the trying-on-shoes stage, I found one that I thought worked (hallelujah!) until I realized that an instep was hurting when I walked. 'nuff said, I assume.

Finally, after the 63rd pair of shoes, I discovered one that worked. Finally! At least until I needed to buy shoes again. That's purgatory.

Fortunately, I took a step that I don't usually take when shopping for shoes: I looked at the shelf where my pair came from and noticed another box with the same shoe size. After a quick check, yes! they were the same model and size, and my feet liked both. So we are now a happy contractual family from one of those Heinleinesque SF novels, where you shack up with multiple pairs of shoes. I don't now what the shoes think of this, but I need to find them a chaplain, even though we're nonobservant. I knew two on USF's campus, and they just have the skills to address our needs.

Why clergy when I'm agnostic/nonbservant? Maybe it's a traditionalism. But I think we're doing right here, for one important reason: Shoes have soles.**

* - The Clothing-though-I-wouldn't-let-my-daughter-wear-any Stores were not negligee stories, incidentally. I just saw mannequins in the store window wearing gold lamé. That's enough for me, as a parent!

** - 2 points if you recognize the television show, the episode, and the character who says that line, 1 point if you can guess 2 of the 3.

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Posted in Random comments on January 17, 2007 11:20 PM |