Now that Noel is back from Sundance (check out this list of 20 memorable characters he met there), it's time for me to begin my semester's travels. Five weekend trips between now and the end of April will test my mettle: two committee meetings, one board meeting, a conference of an organization of which I am an officer, and a brainstorming session related to a large national grant. I'll be in Atlanta, southern California, Dallas, Montreal, and Atlanta again.
Because I haven't been out of town since late October, I'm looking forward to taking off and having some time to myself. I'm sure that will last about one and a half trips, and then I'll be sick to death of airports, hotels, and conference rooms, and more than ready to stay home with my children and my classes.
And I'm only now starting to realize just how little time I'll have for anything other than work. Leisure will be rare this semester -- the more so because I have a night class once a week, and students are clamoring for the start of my regular foreign film tutorial one night every two weeks. Although I enjoy the longer stretches during the office day for work with only one class to interrupt it, by mid-semester I really begin to resent having to be away from home so many nights.
I doubt I'll get anywhere on big projects this semester, as a result of this unusually high level of busyness (even for typically-busy me). But check back in May, and you're sure to find a very relieved -- perhaps even giddy -- tone in this space.