Like a Chicken With My Head Cut Off

One of the things that I admire about the people who I admire is their ability — real or perceived — to multitask. The best of them can do it effortlessly. They come up with stuff that they’ve done and I’m left wondering how they did it. I’ve been trying to match that kind of multitasking, but everyone who sees me trying to do so can tell that something is up.


Me, when my hands are full.

I’m going to let you in on another little secret: I’ve been asked to travel to Puerto Rico to aid in the response to the Zika outbreak there. I’ll be leaving sometime soon, and I have a ton of things to do until then. From scheduling and successfully completing my school-wide preliminary oral exams, to getting some stuff done on the Jeep, to everything else one needs to do before a “deployment,” I have a ton of stuff on my plate.

“So why are you blogging?” you seem to ask. More on that later.

Not only do I have to do all these things, I also have to keep up with my physical training and find out how to keep that up once I’m on the island.


It’s a small island.

I figure I’ll buy a cheap bicycle and ride it around the touristy areas. Then I’ll go to one of the many swim schools that cater to American universities but won’t get much business because of Zika concerns this year. And, finally, I’ll go for jogs around wherever I’m staying, or, if they’re putting me up at a hotel with a gym, I’ll work out there.


All the while spraying bug spray “liberally.”

Yes, there are concerns with what Zika can do to the human reproductive system, and it seems that men can carry the virus in their semen for up to six months after infection. But my wife and I have talked about it, and we’ve decided to take the appropriate precautions throughout this whole adventure. The needs of the many and whatnot.

Just the other day, someone asked me why I wrote so much (on this blog and that other one, and that other one that’s a well-known secret) and complained about not having enough time. I’m very tired of having to explain myself. Writing is what I do as a hobby, like painting or sculpting. It’s how I organize my thoughts.

In fact, while I’ve been writing this, I’ve shot off several emails, read two research papers, and confirmed some appointments. So it’s not like I sit down and write constantly. (Thank God for word processing and blogging software.) Just like some people knit, I get my best thinking done as I write. (And it’s not like I’m writing a full-on dissertation when I write a blog post. It’s 500 words, or thereabouts.)

Still, I wish I could multitask like a boss…


Like. A. Boss.

7 Comments on “Like a Chicken With My Head Cut Off”

  1. I admire you so much Rene. Although having you in the midst of Zika is frightening to me, I know you will do your best at your job. It’s good to hear that you and Deanna have discussed this trip and you have decided to go and help. Many thoughts and prayers will go with you from this end! I always enjoy your blogs so keep writing. Your writing was a good comparison to knitting and I understand that part of you. So keep writing and safe travels!


  2. My daughter is leaving Sunday for Peru for a 10 day yoga retreat. I’m not thrilled that she will be in that area. But she must do what she needs to! Hope the Zika mosquitos stay away from her! And may they also stay away from you on your journey! Although you will be there to attack them! But that is all part of epidemiology and what you are studying to do. Again, safe travels and keep your updates coming.


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