Monday, August 30, 2004
Reporting for duty
Hello again, everyone. I’m back in town at last, having dropped Nick off at college. Six days, two thousand miles round trip (plus a side adventure for Janet and Jamie to Champaign, Illinois so that Janet could conduct a dissertation defense and Jamie could visit his place of birth while I attended all the parent-orientation meetings down in St. Louis), and one lousy, hurried meal after another. We’re exhausted. But Jamie got a big kick out of visiting Nick’s new home (three guys living in a walk-in closet, more or less) and kept telling everyone that his big brother was going to college.
I didn’t have Internet access in St. Louis, so I came home to a raft of emails and the stuff of academic nightmares, namely, a course whose assigned room is clearly too small for the number of students in the class and whose syllabus is still in flux. Why didn’t I have Internet access, you ask? Because Janet booked the hotel, that’s why. And so my dear wife and I had the following conversation at some point between Thursday and Sunday:
“I thought you said, after we got back from Paris, that we’d ‘learned our lesson,’ and that we wouldn’t travel discount any more.”
“I didn’t say that when we got back from Paris.”
“Uh, actually, you said it as we were detaching ourselves from the bungee cords that strapped us to the outside of the fuselage of the Air India flight from Paris as it touched down in Newark this past June, so yeah, you did say it when we got back from Paris.”
“Well, I meant that we weren’t going to travel discount any more except the very next time, then. And besides, we didn’t even get a discount.”
OK, so the conversation didn’t go exactly like that. But you get the idea. Anyway, everything seems to have gone well, except that certain items seem to have been damaged or lost or damaged and then lost in shipping. Janet did the traditional last-minute maternal-burst-into-tears, and Nick and I did the traditional father-son farewell knife-fight in the parking lot outside the dorm. Much fun! He has really learned to toss that knife from hand to hand with élan. We love him and wish him well. Send him telepathic support when you get a moment.
Now back to work: RNC blogging! You asked for it-- so it begins tonight. Thanks to everyone who sent bourbon. I will not fail you.