Last week, one of my charges ended up in the hospital, stricken by an illness that had steadily worsened until it became imperative to hook her up to an IV and put lots of things into her that way. I got a good three days' worth of experiencing how much repeated trips into a hospital can make everything else feel secondary or negligible. This afternoon, responding to my report that this student is now faring much better (and is back out of hospital), someone from home wrote that now I can get back to focusing on all the other things I have to do--and when I bristled at that, I realized, once again, how thin my skin became during this student's sickness and our collective adventure with a foreign country's health system, and how distracted I've felt.
This weekend, though, those of us who were not in hospital piled onto yet another train and headed eastward once again, this time to Cambridge, where some 38% of my heart seems still to reside. Saturday was all about seeing a play at the Arts Theatre, a big part of my year in 07-08, and then wandering around the Backs (espying the King's College cows), drinking at an establishment that didn't exist when I was last there, listening to an organ recital, seeing some Bonfire Night fireworks, and then eating and drinking with various students for many more hours, realizing what an excellent group of people they are. Sunday was for touching bases: a morning trip to Ely, replete with AMT cappuccino on the train up; studying the Lady Chapel through my camera; prowling at the bookstore in Ely, one of my favorites anywhere; and then bustling back to Cambridge so as to maximize the time I could spend at Kettle's Yard before it closed. Two students tagged along with me throughout the day, so we explored together and then brought up the rear of our whole group in catching the evening train back.
I find that after traveling weekends, I'm not good for much on Monday, which is a bit of a shame as there's always a good amount to be done after a couple of days away.
I also find that I seem to lose the plot on a fairly regular basis now and then spend days trying to find it again. Right about the time I do, it's time to go somewhere else and lose it all over again. Perhaps this means I should stop thinking that there's a plot and start following the days themselves.