This long weekend is a chance for us to catch a deep breath before the busiest two weeks of the semester.
On Wednesday, Noel leaves on his annual trip to the Toronto International Film Festival. My parents will fly in that night. Friday I'm driving up to Petitjean Mountain with a hundred and twenty freshmen, faculty, and assorted student helpers for our annual fall retreat. Saturday morning I'll be one of the leaders of a writing workshop up on the mountain. Then as soon as we break for lunch I'll be sprinting down the mountain and back into town to lead half a day's worth of class on Reformation theology for part-time Methodist pastors (I have a former student covering the morning session, when I'll be tied up with the writing workshop.) As soon as that's over I reverse course back up the mountain to participate in the retreat's evening academic session. Sunday at noon I'll be back home to relieve my parents of kid duty before the school week starts Monday morning. Noel will be back on Thursday.
That's a couple more activities than we usually try to cram into the week of Noel's Toronto excursion. Usually he's back the same day I head up the mountain. And usually I'm not teaching a Saturday class that same week. And usually I'm not supposed to be in Santa Barbara at the same time for an executive committee meeting (that's the one thing that had to give way in this triple-booked weekend).
At a certain point you just set your jaw and figure that no matter what goes wrong, time will pass and it will all be over eventually. Then today Archer started showing signs of getting the flu -- lethargy, aches, fever. If we all come down with H1N1 this week, all bets will be off. But I've already let go. Whatever will be, will be. Bring it on, September 9-17.