Sunday, February 10, 2008

Podcasts and Relaxing

Two things are plaguing me today. The need to have more order in my life and to be more intellectually engaged. I've been running from pillar to post, teaching a full load at one college and part time at a university, rearing my son, tutoring a young man from Saudi Arabia in English, and writing for the local newspaper. Therefore, I sometimes don't take the time to engage in the intellectual endeavors that are necessary to sustain me. Although teaching is very intellectually engaging, I cannot always interest my students in the lofty ideas and conundrums that periodically plague me. Far too many of my students are simply in the classroom to get a grade, obtain the credit, and move on. Attitudes like my students' are what drove me out of the university and into the library when I was an undergraduate student because I saw too many professors capitulating and servicing the students' needs. I don't do this. Either they engage in intellectual rigor or they drop my class. In this regard, I am unyielding.

Today, after brunch at my favorite hangout, Busboys and Poets in Shirlington, I took one look around my house and found the disorder creeping in on me. Those of you who know me know that I cannot operate within chaos, which is why all of my books are arranged in alphabetical order, and my closet is organized according to the type of garment and its color, from light to dark. I know, I'm probably a bit anal. But my mother told me the key to running an orderly household is to be organized. So yes, I do roll my linen like she did, and my spice cabinet is also arranged alphabetically.

As I moved about the house cooking, organizing, vacuuming, and dusting, I engaged in my latest method for relaxing, listening to my ipod. My wonderful son gave me an ipod for Christmas. I still marvel over how he knew just what I wanted. I marveled even more when I realized that I could download lectures from university professors, the Washington Post Book Review, and unabridged editions of books, and listen to them while I worked, commuted, and journaled.

I am in heaven again. As my eyes age and reading becomes harder and harder for me, I can still gain pleasure and stimulate my mind from the printed text. The other night, I lay in the bed listening to "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave." I've taught this narrative for more than 12 years, and it has never come alive for me the way that it does when I listen to it in the middle of the night on my ipod. I don't have to stop to turn the tape over, insert another CD, or press play. I just click on the arrow and away it goes. Wow, I love this technology. I know. Don't laugh at me. In marketing terms I am a late, late adapter.

So if your ipod is full of music, you may find it pleasurable to download some of the many podcasts that are available on the internet. I know that I am simply gleeful listening to the numerous podcasts that I have located and downloaded.


Judy said...

OK.. I am putting an ipod on my wish list now.. along with a personal organizer.

E. said...

my wish list 2.