Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 25, 2017 - For Ted!

Today's run was sponsored by Ted! Thanks so much for continuing to help fund the Ty Taylor Memorial Campship Endowment. We're getting so close to fully funding the endowment, I appreciate your help! Soon, YMCA Camp Miller will be able to send a deserving camper to camp for free every year in honor of an amazing man.

Today's run is for a former AES Runner, secretive donor and all-around nice guy. My students might call him a lurker, because I haven't heard from him in forever, but he's checking the blog and making a donation - but they've given on the intricacies and nuances of our language. I call him a friend.

Here at school, we ask the following question a lot: What does the research say? Friend or lurker? Well, researchers have been trying to convince us that social media is fooling us into believing that having hundreds of friends is normal, let alone possible. British anthropologist Robin Dunbar suggested that humans ability to keep and maintain friendships was correlated to brain size. 150 was the number he suggested, but he divided that 150 into layers. The closest layer contained 5. A study conducted by Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences suggested that the respondents to their study had only two. Research from 2016 reported on the Huffington Post confirmed Dunbar's findings.

All of that seems like bad news for those of us in the world of international teaching. Falling out of touch is easy as people move in and out of our schools and our lives. We follow each others' blogs (peep Ted's gap here sailing blog here!), see each others' photos on Instagram and Facebook, but it becomes easy to slip away from each other. Facebook can make us believe that we're keeping up on each other when snippets fly through our feeds, but it's not the same.

But do you know what?

I'm okay with it.

Because the friends that I've met since I made the decision to come abroad are the greatest people I've ever met. I know that they're there for me. That they'll help out. That they'll meet up in Bangkok, or Buenos Aires or Brooklyn. And more than anything, that we'll pick up exactly where we left off last time without skipping a beat.

I miss Ted, and Amie and the kids. I miss the time we spent chatting on our runs. Truthfully, I've been thinking about two of them a lot lately. Amie and I spent about 5 minutes one day running laps around a traffic circle near the American Embassy waiting for the group to catch up. I think about it almost every time I pass that circle. And Ted was always willing to join on long, hot runs. I saw a map of the 2014 edition of the British History Half Marathon (the first running, btw), and remembered how Ted joined me for an extra few miles to bump it up to a 20 mile training run despite the fact that it was blazing hot at the end of a really long run. Like I said earlier, an all-around nice guy.

As the school year winds down, I'm thinking a lot about how great it's been to have friends step up with no hesitation to run with me. In the dark, in the rain or on hot April Tuesdays after work. That's what I did today. It was Kate's morning to work out, so I squeezed in a run after school.

It was hot. It was hazy. It was Delhi on an April afternoon. But knowing that Ted had taken the time to donate was enough to motivate me. Thanks for helping to make the Ty Taylor Campship possible, friend. I appreciate you, no matter what my silly students might call you.

The route was a classic. School to the Salt March Statue, to Teen Murti. A loop around Kautilya Marg and a loop around Nehru Park.

Distance - 4.93 miles (I really should look at my distance before quitting my workout - .07 miles more!?)
Time - 41:22
Soundtrack - Ana Tijoux, Vengo

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