Monday, August 14, 2006

The Calm Before the Storm

P-Dog has retreated to the closet to await the thunderstorm on the horizon. B-dog--unruffled by storms, fireworks, thuds, and clangs of all kinds--is contentedly watching the songbirds binge in their feeders before the wind blows them into the hedge.

But the Calm I logged on to write about is the nearly blissful pause one week before classes begin when (especially pre-fall) I launch new research and teaching projects and partnerships, in delirious denial about the overloads to come.

I pull up my class rosters (with adjacent student ID photos) and introduce myself to newcomers and their parents at luncheons, cookouts, community service outings, and whatnot. I fax last-minute IRB amendments and fire off instant messages to my research partner. (Inspired by Chris Anson's call to arms.)

I meet with community partners to hammer out the details of our collaborations--all of my classes are doing applied rhetoric research and writing this semester.

Exhausted, I return to my hula-dancing dogs, explaining plaintively that my extended absences are how I'll get to bring home the kibble for another year.

Today's fieldmouse-relocation clients: One.


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