Tired feet -- 03/05/02

My feet are so tired!

When I got to Philadelphia on Monday I took a cab to my hotel, checked in, unpacked, and then set off to find the location where I'm working this week. It was about seven or eight blocks from my hotel, just the on the other side of City Hall... not a bad walk, maybe ten minutes or so...

I checked to be sure that the classroom was set up properly, picked a student PC at random and tested the software installation... everything looked fine... a nice setup... There is one strange thing... I'm accustomed to having the image from my PC projected... usually I'm showing a graphic that students also have in their books, although sometimes I also am doing live demonstrations... this classroom, however, has an extra computer monitor in between each pair of student workstations (that is, each set of two students shares this extra screen) and my graphics are displayed on these screens. I can see the advantage of this in that everyone has a good view of those presentations because they are right on a screen in front of them, there's no disadvantage to sitting in the back row, etc. However, I wondered if this might give me some problems because I am used to being able to point to areas on the screen.

Then I set off to the fine arts museum, probably a mile and a half walk... a long chilly windy walk...I had checked the museum hours on the Internet and had seen that they close at 5pm each day, except they are open until 8pm on Wednesday nights... I thought that it would be great to see as much as I could on Monday and then go back on Wednesday night with a better idea of which galleries I wanted to see. Unfortunately, what I had failed to note on their website, was that they are closed on Mondays. *sigh* Ah well, at least I got to run up the steps like Rocky... oh, okay, I walked most of the steps, just bounded up some of them.

The last time I had been here was about eight years ago... Nancy and I brought Jennifer and Sean down for a family vacation trip to Philadelphia... see the Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin's house, etc., visit the science museum... At one point we had a long early evening walk back to our hotel from the science museum area... Sean was tired and I put him on my back... probably the last piggyback ride I was able to give him before he got too big to carry... truth be told, he was already too big then and a mile or so of that trek was rough on my back! If I recall correctly, we stopped at the art museum on our way to the highway to return home... (It must have been a Monday then, too, because the parking lot was mostly empty and we didn't have to pay to park there.)... There are a lot of monumental bronze sculptures in front or the museum and the kids had a wonderful time climbing around and posing next to them.

So... then I faced a long chilly windy walk back to my hotel... I'm staying at the Hilton Garden Inn, right by the Convention Center... and guess what's at the Philadelphia Convention Center this week... The Philadelphia Flower Show! No, I don't think I'll check it out... but there certainly are thousands and thousands of people who are going there... There's also an old railroad station that's been turned into a marketplace -- mostly food-related -- about an even split between merchants selling fresh produce, fish, meat, cheese, etc., also chocolate, coffee beans, spices, cookbooks... and food vendors... oyster bar, Philly cheese steak hoagies, pizza, salad buffet, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Greek... All a bit overwhelming... a bit too many different clashing odors... cheese smells from here, fish from there, raw meats here, steaks being grilled there... Also, let us just say that there were many people in the crowd providing visual evidence of the statistics about the incidence of obesity in the American population... So I limped around the corner to my hotel... well, not quite limped, but my feet were really feeling sore and tired from yesterday's race and all of my walking around Philadelphia...

I chose to eat in the hotel restaurant on the 10th floor with a view over the city... well, not much of a view... it wasn't looking toward the more interesting downtown buildings... but I was close to the fireplace and there was just enough of a fire going to radiate some pleasant warmth. I had not had much sleep Sunday night and had been up early in the morning... so back in my room I fell asleep reading around nine o'clock... Unfortunately, I woke up a little past three a.m. and could not get back to sleep.

Off to class this morning... the first day went fairly well... oh, okay, so I think I may have been a bit too long-winded (but that is partly caused by the type of information, etc. that I have to deliver today... fortunately the rest of the course is more technically detailed... uh, yes, I do think that is a good thing)... The lack of a projection screen is a bit disconcerting... a number of times today I attempted to point out something on a picture that wasn't there... ah, but looking on the bright side, not once today was I blinded by the light of the projector shining in my eyes. ["looking on the bright side" *grin*] However, a day spent standing and lecturing while wearing dress shoes (Florsheim wingtips) is not easy on tired feet... so my feet were really tired by the time I got back to my hotel. I definitely think I'm going to wear my cushion-soled Rockports tomorrow..

Sunday's race, Monday's walking, hours of standing while lecturing today... equals a pair of very tired feet tonight.

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