A young woman in one of my classes stopped by my office yesterday to interview me, an assignment from the pre-med sorority (Really? There are such things?) she’s pledging. In the course of our chat, she asked me about hobbies, and I admitted that I don’t really have any and haven’t since my kids were born.

My typical day, I explained, goes something like this: I rise with the sun, spend a bit of time with my family, take the older boy to school, trundle off to work, embrace the life of the mind for a few hours, head home at day’s end, spend a bit more time with my family, get the kids to sleep, read a bit (usually something related to work) or write for awhile, and then fall into the fitful slumber of the middle-aged, knowing that I’ll do it all again the next day. The excitement never ends.

She seemed somewhat horrified by this and wasn’t entirely convinced when I revealed that I’m actually quite happy with my life (“life”?). Even still, she wouldn’t let it go, insisting that I must have had hobbies once upon a time. So I reassured her that, yes, I used to ride my bike a lot, read novels, go to the movies, and listen to the latest record albums. (Which reminds me, I know I’m late to the party, but Fleet Foxes ftw.) In the end, the whole conversation was quite pleasant, but it was also a useful reminder that, although I share time with with my students in class each week, I have very little in common with most of them.