After spending more than a week in a drug-induced haze characterized by coughing, sleeping, coughing, nose-blowing, and coughing, I've returned to campus to prep for the start of classes next week, and so far I've made it through an entire morning without utterly collapsing. At this point staying upright is a major accomplishment. ("What did you do at work today, sweetheart?" "I didn't end up flat on my back on the floor." "Well done you! Gold star!")
Along with remaining upright, I've managed to make some photocopies, write a letter of recommendation, and clear the detritus of fall semester off my desk. And I've discovered some interesting things.
For instance, I've found two people who are not coughing. Two! They may well be the only non-coughers in the entire county at this point, but on the other hand, they might just start coughing the minute I turn my back. We've definitely done our part to fulfill the National Coughing Quota this year. Time for someone else to step up and take a turn.
And I have discovered the source of all Namibians. Well, not all Namibians, but I've found the source of the computer glitch that resulted in every single student in my spring classes being listed as hailing from Namibia: in a column on our course management system designed to list the student's nationality, some brilliant person(s) (not me) inserted "NA," meaning "Not Applicable." Except the course management system thinks "NA" means Namibia, which explains the sudden glut of Namibians in my classes. I'm a Namibian; you're a Namibian; we are all Namibians.
Now if someone can figure out how to send all this coughing to Namibia, we'll be sitting pretty.