I asked my colleague across the hall for a word--"Quick, what word am I thinking of?"--and he answered immediately: "Fart."
It wasn't the right answer but on the other hand maybe it was. I needed a laugh. I've been sitting at my desk trying to figure out how I can possibly be so swamped so early in such a great semester, with a (short) stack of papers to grade (already!) and a mass of meetings on and off all week, including some dental work but not, fortunately, jury duty. (I managed to sweet-talk my way out of jury duty calling the bailiff and moaning, politely, about my teeth.)
And so the circus begins: doing a little bit each day on a swirling mess of different projects and hoping it all adds up to something whole before the deadlines hit. My life is like that online train game: move the switches so the pink train gets to the pink station and then move them into an entirely different configuration to get the yellow train to the yellow station--but look out for the green train barreling down the tracks!
So far I'm doing it, one click at a time: prep class, teach class, write paper abstract, teach other class, order plane tickets for conference, prep other class, go to meeting, sweet-talk the bailiff, grade papers, prep another class--all the time keeping an eye out for whatever else comes barreling down the tracks.
And if it's a fart, what can I do but laugh?