T-3 days

Yup, I’ll be on the Goucher campus, God willing, this Sunday.  I have spent a lot of time worrying about logistics, especially since I plan to fast.  The fast will begin at 4:40 a.m. and although by my last day there the time will have moved all the way up to 4:53, I am still going to be stumbling around in the neighborhood of  4 a.m. making some instant coffee and a bowl of Grape-Nuts (which has proven to be a great way to start the day; every Ramadan I come up with a new high-energy food, and this year Grape-Nuts and soy milk are it).  Apart from the logistics, I’m concerned about being ready to contribute to the program, whereas I was thinking it would be more like a class, where I’d be receiving information.  I suppose I’ll do both; fortunately I have had some very helpful current and former Goucher students fill me in and give me their advice.

On top of that anxiety, I have to complete an article by the 10th, which would be okay except I haven’t gotten a response from a single source except for one Toastmaster who said his club doesn’t meet in the summer and didn’t respond to my reply email asking if I could interview him.  Now that makes me nervous.  I can certainly do short interviews from campus, but I won’t have a computer with a keyboard to furiously take notes.  I will have to do my best with good old paper and pen.  I’m visiting family after the residency ends on the 10th and returning home on the 13th.  On the 14th I’ve scheduled an executive committee meeting of the Boeing Toastmasters officers.  The Houston Society of Professional Journalists will have a board meeting at some point in late August, too.  And I have another article due August 31.  So my plate is full, even though sometimes I feel like I’m running in place (excuse the mixed metaphor).

I believe this is also the longest I’ve been away since I moved to Houston permanently, other than overseas trips.  And I feel like I’m going back to college – I’m taking two suitcases and a backpack; one suitcase will be full of things like towels and notebooks, files and books.  Thank God Southwest allows two free suitcases.

I never thought I would really be doing this – I applied to the program five or six years ago, was accepted and then decided not to go.  This time I wasn’t sure I’d be accepted and I’m surprised I’m really going.