The silence now

The low rumble of the approaching school year: things are shifting, some creatures are awakening, little clouds of dust are appearing on the horizon.

This summer has had a very different rhythm from others.  For one thing, we’ve been away for much of it, and often on the move.  Stubb and I got home, the Snork Maiden returned from her summer program (which she enjoyed, but doesn’t seem to be pining for), and we all went to my annual conference.  Then came another annual tradition, the beach week with Stubb’s family, which–as has often happened–mostly lacked Stubb, who is back with his out-of-town gig (but will be home in another ten days, and then at home for almost a month before going out on the road again for most of the next four months.  After that, though, likely an end to this particular job).

I’m writing this as the beach week comes to an end.  I think I’ve kvetched about this trip before, as taking nine people (ranging over 70+ years in age) on vacation involves a number of logistical challenges which are only compounded by the Stubb family’s tendency to cheerfully ignore (or, if raised, dismiss) those challenges until they are impossible to ignore.  And, of course, that situation is itself compounded by my irritation when we run up against obstacles that I foresaw and attempted to avoid.  (These are folks who go to brunch on Mother’s Day without a reservation and then are cheerfully bemused when they have to wait an hour and a half for a table: My goodness, can you believe that so many people decided to come to the Waffle House?  Why yes, I can!  At least they generally have a sunny attitude about it, which is helpful.)

My sister-in-law is, like me, a planner and anticipator, so to some extent we can band together to force the Stubbs to be a bit more practical (and to commiserate when this doesn’t work), but I also find it stressful that she and my brother-in-law get into conflict during the week, so she’s not always a refuge.  Every year I think about not doing this, and I almost always end up doing at least some of it–this year, for example, I skipped a couple of days, which is much more possible now that the Snork Maiden is older.  She, by the way, clings to the tradition of the beach week, even though she also requires some respite from the chaos and confusion of it all.

Anyway, it’s not really a very relaxing way to end the summer.  But it does make the returning-to-school process something of a relief–it will be so nice to go to meetings where people show up on time.  Next week will be about setting up classrooms–I think I might be about to get my own room, even though there will certainly be other people teaching in it–and about doing college essay workshops with the seniors (and getting paid for it), and about officially starting the department-chair stuff.  And the following week are most of our back-to-school meetings and the Snork Maiden’s freshman orientation, and we start the last week of August.

So hooray.  I have work to do for my own classes, and chair stuff, and house things and things for the Snork Maiden, and writing plans to make for the fall.  I’m hoping to be back to blogging with more regularity, not least so that I have a place to organize these thoughts.  We’ll see if that happens!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Pym Fan on August 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    The very idea of vacationing with nine people (most of them closely related) makes me shudder. Had to laugh at the idea of school meetings actually being a welcome island of sanity after all that! I hope the busy rest of August will include some time for writing. (Any chance?)


  2. Yes! Yes, it will! I actually did some writing today, and it may not sound like much but the new project has been percolating in my brain all summer. I haven’t been following Dame Eleanor’s group, but I know you’ve been in it; how are things going for you on that front?


    • Posted by Pym Fan on August 13, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Hooray that you’re writing! And a percolating new project sounds like just the thing. As to Dame Eleanor’s group, I enjoy it, and the accountability system is an excellent idea, but I’m afraid I haven’t made much of a showing. I’ve fallen behind in my project, and suddenly the summer is almost over!


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