Spinning My Wheels

Today is “Tulane Day” at the state capitol in Baton Rouge, a little three-ring circus that our office annually coordinates. While three or four separate groups from Tulane travel around to pre-arranged meetings with state legislators to talk about all the great things their projects are doing for the State, the atrium (aka “the rotunda”) of the capitol building is decorated with blue and green as specially selected Tulane centers and collaborative projects set up displays aimed at highlighting tToday is “Tulane Day” at the state capitol in Baton Rouge, a little three-ring circus that our office annually coordinates. While three or four separate groups from Tulane travel around to pre-arranged meetings with state legislators to talk about all the great things their projects are doing for the State, the atrium (aka “the rotunda”) of the capitol building is decorated with blue and green as specially selected Tulane centers and collaborative projects set up displays aimed at highlighting the university’s activities, at least those that relate directly to the state. It’s actually a pretty good event that hopefully counterbalances the myth that Tulane is some kind of rich kid ivy league island that’s disconnected from reality. We’ve done so much community work over the last few years that it’s very difficult to decide which ones to highlight. At 5:45 am I braced myself, gritted my teeth, and with a loud groan lifted my broken bones out of bed. Damn, those ribs make it hard to get out of bed! Changing into a pair of riding shorts and mismatched full-zip jersey (I have a new found fondness for full-zip jerseys, by the way) I headed down to the basement. As I’ve done the last couple of mornings, I put in an hour on the trainer spinning my wheels and going nowhere. I still can’t really bring myself to push very hard, or for that matter put my hands any lower than the elbow pads of the clip-ons. The velcro wrapped around my lungs, not to mention the broken ribs, makes it hard to breathe deeply, and of course wearing a big velcro vest doesn’t do anything good for your ability to stay cool, especially while on a stationary trainer. At any rate, I figure it’s better than nothing. Still, by the time 50 minutes has passed I’m looking at my watch constantly, wondering how time can possibly be passing so slowly. Considering the relatively easy pace at which I’m riding, it’s surprising to see a little puddle of sweat on the floor. So up in Baton Rouge we unloaded a couple of cases of green apples, each wrapped in cellophane and tied with a green ribbon. They, along with 144 informational folders that we’d assembled the day before, were delivered to the appropriate offices so that they could be placed on the members’ desks in the House and Senate chambers. Other than that, I basically spent four or five hours spinning my wheels wandering around the Rotunda, bored and with little to do. By 3:30 the collarbone was starting to ache, so I was glad I’d already decided to skip the 6 p.m. reception at the Governor’s Mansion. Ordinarily I’d never miss something like that, but under the circumstances I just knew I’d be uncomfortable the whole time anyway. So I made the 90-minute drive back home and promptly poured myself a glass of cold Rogue Mocha Porter. Everything was better after that…..

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