It's been too long since my last blog post. The past few weeks have been crazy! We had our first youth writing festival through the Nebraska Writing Project last weekend. 20 high school students attended the event at Elkhorn South High School. It was encouraging to see students devote a Saturday to writing. I hope to post more about the festivals after our Kearney festival is over. Because my schedule has been so packed, I don't have anything terribly insightful to share, but here are a few updates:
On Friday I took the day off to work on my thesis and address the comments my advisor sent me a few weeks ago. It took me all day, but I do believe that, in terms of content, my draft is complete. I may have a few organizational issues, and of course I still need to complete all the crazy formatting requirements that UNL expects. In the next few weeks I'll work on inserting my appendices, but after writing 36 pages and reading a small mountain of books and articles, the bulk of my research and writing should be finished! Before I celebrate too much, I'll wait to hear final word from my committee. This thesis is my first major academic accomplishment. It's been the most challenging experience so far, but it has reaffirmed my love for researching and writing.
This morning my running buddy (Kristin) and I ran 15 miles! This is the first time I've ran anything over a half-marathon distance. My feet hurt when we finished, but other than that, I'm feeling pretty good after it. The weather was beautiful and the conversation was even greater. The only glitch came when we ran into a coyote at about mile 9.5 on a desolate gravel road. It was the first time I've ever seen a coyote, and I freaked out. Kristin, who grew up in the Black Hills and has experience with coyotes, handled it like a champ. While I cowered behind her, she stomped and yelled at the coyote, scaring it off. At the time I was holding an opened energy gel. After the coyote retreated into the field from which he came, and after my legs stopped shaking, I realized I had squeezed my tiny packet so hard that gel covered my hands. It's hard to believe the marathon is only 8 weeks away! While I have a few reservations about the race, I'm looking forward to the challenge.