I’m finally arriving from the doldrums that are the winter months, and the spigot of blog-worthy events should open once more. This is not one of them.
I don’t often buy toys. I have the simplest phone, the weakest car, and lack a slew of things I would love to have. (Currently topping the list is a respectable camera for my travel). It isn’t that I am a dragon just sitting on my money, but these purchases are so hard to justify. I have however convinced myself that travel is something I will always look back on fondly. In spite of my firm stance, there were two things I bought recently that I thought I would share about.
The first was a tablet. I had been wanting a tablet for about a year now, but was constantly holding out for whatever was on the horizon. Finally I found what I was looking for in the Asus Transformer Prime. My primary, secondary, and tertiary motivations for buying it were, respectively, processing power while traveling, having a classroom teaching tool, and simply the fun and convenience aspect. Also, it has the latest Android operating system on it, which I much prefer to the Apple ecosystem. Travelling with it was especially something I had been wanting. Any hostel you stay at will have free WiFi and being on the road for a month at a time with limited access can be a challenge for a youth in today’s world. Plus, it will make those flights and transits a bit more bearable. Despite wanting it primarily for this reason, I needed it as something I could use in the classroom as well so that I could call it a tool. It is very easy to plug into the classroom TVs to transfer my image the screen – great for presentations. It gives me more flexibility with flash cards, video clips and presentations. Also, with the built in camera, I’ve started shooting videos with my 6th grade classes, which I’ll get to another time. Finally the convenience factor is essentially just applying its travelling merits to daily life – processing on the go. But, to me it is also a productivity device. There is an attachable keyboard that makes it productivity tool as well. Also, I’ll blame it on lingering ADHD, or something, but when I sit at my primary computer I just jump from thing to thing, and by the end of the night can have accomplished almost nothing. By setting myself up with certain tasks like my flashcards away from the attention sucking black hole that is the internet, I tend to get a lot more done. I already see the up and coming models on the horizon, but I’m happy with this and think the relative benefits have justified my lapse in fiscal conservatism .
My other purchase is not so exciting, but is something I hope will aid me in accomplishing my goal of better health. Due to excessive bachelor-esq cuisine and the sedentary lifestyle that has been dominating my evenings, I have deemed it necessary to make some changes. So, I have treated myself to a little lifting equipment for my front room, which serves no purpose other than storage. I met a guy on the train who was moving and didn’t have room for his toys anymore. What he spent thousands of dollars on, I was able to split with another teacher at drastic savings. He took a bench & weights, some dumbbells, and a bunch of accessories while I made off with a squat cage and more weights. Squatting is one of the best full body lifting exercises, and using the cage for chin up/pull up routines all in the comfort of my own house means I will actually take advantage of it. My landlord is fixing the sagging floor in my front room, which I will then convert to my gym. Resistance training was something I’ve had a yearning to do, but was unwilling to shell out due to the inconvenience and cost of a proper gym membership. The only places that offered both a pool and free weights (I wont pay for both separately) cost 100 dollars a month, and were at least 20 minutes away by car. This arrangement will give me a private gym (better for the excessive grunting and shameless flexing), and the cheap pool just down the road. This is probably the first proactive decision I’ve made towards bettering my lifestyle since arriving here, and I’m looking forward to following through on it.
Until I get my floor situation sorted, it looks like this. I’ve also got a proper squat cage I need to put together again. Something about using a big squat bar as a doorstop feels pretty cool though.