Thanks to the pedometer I'm wearing for part of a campuswide health competition, I've discovered that I walk as much in class as I do while trudging the half-mile to school. (Mom the Retired School Administrator: "So you're a Peripatetic?") This prompted me to wonder about a more systematic exercise regimen for the professoriat...
- INTELLECTUAL STATIONARY BIKES. While spinning your wheels, revolve the theoretical debates of the day--without getting anywhere.
- PUBLICATION CLIMBING WALL. Attempt to scale a wall of peer reviewers without losing your grip. If you fail to follow reviewers' suggestions, you may be forced to climb an entirely different wall.
- PAPERWORK TREADMILL. Evaluations, self-evaluations, applications, proposals, amendments, revisions. Improve your heart's health by filling out administrative paperwork again. And again. And again.
- CRITICISE. The academic successor to "Jazzercise." While listening to upbeat music, grade papers at steadily increasing speeds.
- PREREQUISITE RESISTANCE MACHINE. Strengthen your pedagogical chest muscles by teaching students who absolutely have to be in your class (and, therefore, absolutely do not want to be there). Repeat sets several times per year.
- ANTHOLOGY FREE WEIGHTS. Hardbound Longman and Norton anthologies can be used for bicep curls during class; bind several volumes together to increase weight. Other disciplines may substitute their own textbooks. If necessary, use two or more laptop computers instead of hardcopy.
- FILING CABINET DRAWER LEG PRESS. Most commonly performed while trying to stow a decade's worth of paperwork in a single cabinet. Do not attempt to perform this exercise while seated on a rolling chair.
- SCHOLARLY PUNCHING BAG. Take one academic article and pummel it to within an inch of its life. An advanced exercise, generally restricted to graduate seminars; may have unpredictable effects on academic strength if used at conferences.
- PROFESSIONAL WOBBLE BOARD. Maintain intellectual balance while riding shifting academic fads.
- INTERDISCIPLINARY STRETCH. Increases mental flexibility. While maintaining one foot in your own department, extend the other into the department down the hall. Warning: overstretching may rupture your credibility.