After spring break one semester, I returned to my British History class. My professor pretty much hated us and ridiculed us every chance he got. I think he thought that he was so above our heads that we wouldn’t notice, but we did. I’m not sure if he hated all students or just found us especially dim-witted. Anyway, he was making fun of all the tanned students who partied over the week instead of volunteering, or studying, or reading the entire works of Shakespeare. Then he looked at me. It was the first and only time he spoke to me all semester: “Well, you certainly didn’t go to the beach.”
It was quite embarrassing and my white face turned bright red. But it was true. I have always had an almost vampirish hatred of the bright sun and its heat. So I feel well qualified to give you some tips on staying out of the heat during this very hot last week of summer term:
- If you haven’t already, join a gym. You can exercise in the cool. There is less danger of heat stroke. And you can actually work out longer and harder. While I could barely go three miles in the outdoors, I now can make it 4.5 miles with little difficulty.
- Drink a lot. (And English department, I mean water.) Stay hydrated. You’ll feel better and have more energy.
- If you have children, send them outside to get the mail and newspaper. It is a fact that children do not seem to feel the heat the way we do. My 4-year-old buddy, on Saturday, asked me to go outside with her. When I told her it was too hot, she looked at me with complete disdain. We did go out for a few minutes, and after dripping with sweat, I gave up, went inside, and told her mother the mosquitoes were biting and she might want to bring her little one in. Blame me for not wanting to be the bad guy, but desperate times do call for passing the buck to the mom.
- Group errands. This is always a good time management technique, but it’s also a lifesaver when the temperature is near a hundred. Nothing is worse than getting in a hot car, going two miles, and just as the air conditioner is begnning to kick in, having to stop and get out again.
- Find ways to entertain yourself at home, so you don’t even have to go out. If anyone in your family wants to do some sort of outdoor activity, immediately plead a headache that will only get worse out in the sun. In fact, you might want to encourage the rest of your family to go on without you, and when you have the house to yourself, get a big bowl of ice cream and the cold drink of your choice, and watch Bridget Jones’s Diary (It’s showing on at least four different stations this month.)
- And if nothing else works, keep in mind that soon enough, we’ll be wrapped in cords, sweaters, and coats and wishing for a warm sunny day.