Sunday, July 21, 2013

Through a Screen Damply

(or, "Special Weather Statement in Effect Until Further Notice)

This is the view out my bedroom window this morning. This has been the view out my bedroom most mornings during the month of July. Our region has been "blessed" with near-daily thundershowers -- total rainfalls are in the double-digits --  and so, flash floods and dampened spirits have been epidemic for what is beginning to seem like forever.

Long-time readers, all three of you, may remember that this is the time of year when the stress level at  my job switches from "easily forgotten with a glass of wine at dinner" to "please-please-please-don't-let-me-kill-any-body-this-week." It's the time when the summer institute I am in charge of goes live, and my colleagues and I play host to adult students from across the country for a month of (their) professional development. Since enrollment is less than half of its usual 40-some participants (a statistic that brings its own stressors), one might be tempted to believe that things would go fairly smoothly this time around. Alas, one would be rudely shaken from that belief when, a week in to the Institute, the phone rings just before noon on a Sunday with the news that a participant is in the local emergency room with what may be congestive heart failure. 

Luckily, that participant is back in class and doing well, her diet being closely watched by her classmates who won't let her within 50 yards of a salt shaker to avoid further fluid retention. 

A fairly uneventful week was then followed by the sight of a participant limping in to the classroom with a request to be taken to the infirmary. Crutches and  RICE therapy have gotten him almost fully mobile a week later. 

The phone message that was waiting for me this past Monday, though, informed me that another participant was in the hospital, this time with a possible TIA (aka, mini-stroke). After two days they discharged her with the okay to return to her already restricted "normal" activities (she suffers from a seizure disorder). 

By this time, I'm thinking that running a camp for 200 high school wrestlers would be a piece of cake compared to overseeing my 20 mostly-middle-aged educators, but that position's not vacant so I'm stuck here until August. 2.

I guess one bright spot is that the weather forced cancellation of that canoe trip thingy I always dread.