Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Brick Wall At The End Of The Tunnel

The extended vacation -- see previous blogentries for context if you're just joining in -- allowed me to miss much of the slow build that is the typical beginning of the prep school year. By the time I arrived here Saturday afternoon, just in time to meet a few new and nervous advisee's parents and scarf a few chewy oatmeal cookies in the dorm lounge with my dorm faculty peers, the first faculty meeting had long passed, my dorm's staff had planned out several orientation events in anticipation of the days ahead, and my department had met twice without me.

Students, too, our charges and vocation, had begun to arrive, buzzing and eager, in the days before my own arrival. Student Leaders, Peer Educators, and International Student Ambassadors were the first to come, that they might be trained in their respective peer-duties; then, with their guidance, new students, including an entire new class of freshman, began to settle into their dorms and social groups. By Saturday, too, early sports camp students had already spent days out on the field recovering their old skills and, for many of them, testing new summer-matured bodies. By the time I arrived, the vast majority of students were already here.

Missing the slow build means that, subjectively speaking, this year's fall semester here at Northfield Mount Hermon School has begun with the shock of jumping into frigid water. Though classes don't start until Wednesday, today returning students, the last to arrive every year, registered and began to settle in. Now the gang's all here; now the fun really begins. Suddenly the place is raucous, the plans others have made for me vague and hard to find, and I am needed everywhere.

Where less than 48 hours ago I was in summer mode full-tilt, listing the things I did for work since I awoke this morning to an early alarm would take an entire page and bore the heck out of my entire readership; I didn't get home until a few moment until eleven, after a long, dull discussion in the dorm about rules and expectations for the year.

The whole darn juggling act should settle down soon, I suppose, but, man, right now I really need a vacation.

To top it all off, the baby got badly cat-scratched at a friend's apartment today, and screamed for hours tonight when we tried retraining her to sleep in the crib after two weeks in bed with us aboard ship.

On the bright side...it's raining outside, and the road below is cool and shiny in the quiet light of the single streetlamp. It's so nice to be out of the dorm, far away from the students, to come home from work and leave work so far behind; I think I could get used to this.

posted by boyhowdy | 1:29 AM |

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