Thursday, 26 May 2011

Athletic benefits of finicky computers

I almost forgot to mention- the other highlight of my day was finally being able to do a full arm extension inversion- apparently my daily yoga and aerobics involved with navigating the computers is paying off.  Research here involves physical exertion in addition to mental exertion as I bounce between labs- only a couple computers in each have Internet that works occasionally, many computers hate my flashdrive, they are very picky about having the right version of Word (for example the Words 1997-2004 document version from my laptop doesn’t work on the Word 2003 computers), they freeze regularly, have limited printing capabilitiesand any time I have a problem, I have to go through an ever-changing chain of command and/or an elaborate game of charades.  Additionally, the lab assistants like to camp out in the computer labs for “man time” and if I enter, they scurry out even if I tell them not to go.  So even the simplest task is never straightforward.
Speaking of exercise, (sorry parents) swimming and running are definitely some of the things I miss most (especially after hearing about Amanda Granger’s half-marathon at the Great Wall of China- you go girl!). I think this contributes to why I’m not sleeping well still- when I’m used to swimming 1.5 miles five times a week and 13 miles twice a week, an hour of daily yoga and lots of walking and stair climbing doesn’t cut it.  And the campus isn’t big enough to run around, (they close all these gates after the workday restricting my potential “track” to the quadrangle you saw in earlier photos) plus the weather is not conducive to staying hydrated (especially when water is one of my major expenses here!).  I’m sure my shins and shoulders are exceptionally grateful for the break but I can’t wait to start training for my first triathlon in earnest when I return to the States. 
As far as exercise in India, there’s seems to be societal pressure to be thin for aesthetic purposes and everyone’s crazy about watching cricket but sports and fitness have nowhere near the fanatical following as in the US.  Aayushi said she might know of one marathon in India, and badminton is the only sport any of the girls I’ve talked to play.  I’m sure as India before more developed, this will become more of a priority but I think I’ve only seen one person exercising since I’ve arrived.  Haha, I’d be curious to see what women wear when they work out.  This morning, I saw a woman in a beautiful sari, balancing a huge heavy bowl of mortar on her headas she went to help with the dirty, dusty, sweaty construction of the hostel addition.  I think I mentioned on the first day, I saw women in colorful saris, attacking the ground with huge pickaxes.  These are the things I wish I could show you pictures of!
Thanks again for reading- it’s exciting to get e-mails that many people have been starting their days by reading my confused ramblings.  If there’s anything you’re curious about, feel free to let me know and I’d be happy to investigate.  All this talk about science education might get boring for people who don’t “geek out” about these kinds of things like I do!