Thursday, October 21, 2010

The End of an Era.......or Two......

Last week I FINALLY settled on a new bicycle and ordered it before I could get confused and/or change my mind again. Last night the guy from the bike shop called to say it was here, and I told him I would pick it up on Saturday. When I got up this morning, however, I decided I couldn't wait until Saturday, and I went after school to pick it up. I took one picture of it, and it doesn't really do it justice, so I'll wait until the weekend to post it. By then the tires will be dirty, but whatever.

It's the end of an era for my yellow Giant bicycle, though. I bought it way back in 2004 as a reward to myself for completing my doctorate. I had "x" number of dollars in a savings account, and when I picked out my bike, it came to almost exactly "x" dollars. I had only one requirement, and that was that the bike was yellow. You wouldn't believe how hard that is to accomplish.

The yellow bike has served me well. I think I've put around 6000 miles on it, which isn't a lot by serious cyclist standards. I have replaced the tires once, the computer once, and I think I even cleaned it up once when Rozmo shamed me into it. It has carried me across the state of Georgia three times (before Katydid and I bought the tandem) and Iowa twice. It has never thrown me to the pavement, with the possible exception of that one time when I couldn't get my cleat unclipped at a stop sign, and I hit my head on the sidewalk. I CRACKED my helmet, and THAT my friends is why I wear one.

I feel like I'm parting ways with an old friend. But what makes me feel better is that I'm selling it to a former co-worker (whom I may NEVER forgive for leaving us this year, *ahem* *ahem* you know who you are *ahem*) who has just recently gotten into cycling. I know she will take good care of it, and I know old yellow will serve her well. I hope they put another 6000 miles on it.

The other end of an era is my online teaching job. I started thinking about how much I bitch about it and about how I really don't need the money, because after all, about all it does is screw up our taxes. When I got my teaching assignment for next semester and the course that has become MY course, the one thing I'm comfortable with and have been teaching for five semesters had been taken away, I decided the full-time hassles had started outweighing the part-time pay. They didn't take the course away from ME necessarily, but they have to fulfill their full-time and salaried part-time segments first, so I wound up with basically two courses I've never taught before. I had requested to BE one of those salaried part-time folks last spring, and they told us they would let us know by June 11th. I'm still waiting. I'm guessing I didn't get one of the positions, but I can ONLY guess, since we were never told one way or the other. I have been in our department longer than just about anybody, so I feel like I was passed over for one of the prime spots.

Anyway, I'm feeling good about my decision. I will finish out this semester, and then my free time will go back to being my free time. I don't have to log on first thing every morning and as soon as I walk in the door in the afternoon. I don't have to set a special ringtone for my online students and their parents and then cringe if I hear it. I can take a weekend for bicycling and not worry about grading assignments and posting news announcements.

I really wanted this job to continue into my retirement, because I thought I might need something to keep me busy. I really, really like the online world, and for the most part I enjoyed the job. Maybe if I weren't teaching full-time they might have considered me for one of the salaried positions, but I'm not going to wait around for another year and a half to find out. I'll FIND something to keep me busy after I retire.

Like riding my new bicycle.