Friday, October 30, 2009

Under the wire

It's almost midnight Eastern time, pretty late for the day's post, but even though it's been a very long day I'm still up planning for a bit of leisure tomorrow. And given the late hour, that day might get a late start; one of the most decadent luxuries of any trip is a few hours extra sleep in the morning. I might miss the free conference breakfast, but I doubt I'll be too late in rising and getting underway for just a smidgen of sightseeing.

Right now I'm browsing the Smithsonian website to see if there are any can't-miss exhibitions in town. I'll probably end up going to the newly reopened American History Museum, but my mind keeps going back to the last time I was in DC for the AAR's annual meeting ... the Dead Sea Scrolls were at the Sackler Gallery, and what an amazing experience to be in the presence of those fragments.

I'm hoping to meet a few area Ravelers at their usual Saturday knitting haunt out in Columbia Heights, but I'll have to hop back to the hotel in the late afternoon for a presentation by my colleagues and students. Then I've got dinner plans with an old friend before coming back to the hotel, setting the clock back, and thanking the Lord for that extra hour of sleep given the early start time for our post-conference workshop on technology in honors education (7:30 am).

Tonight a dozen alumni and a few of their significant others met us at a Georgetown restaurant for dinner. It was an astounding group of successful people -- aspiring judges, non-profit sector advocates, teachers, programmers, embassy personnel ... you name it, some UCA Honors graduate was in DC doing it. I was over the moon with happiness, laughing with some of my favorite people on earth, and simply bowled over by the powerful community collected from many different graduating classes, majors, backgrounds, and aspirations, all unified by their passage through our program and their destination here in the center of American citizenship.

It hasn't been easy doing what we do for the last year or so. But look here -- just look what we did. There couldn't have been a better time for that reminder.

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