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And We’re Off…

School started today at Carleton. This was notable for four reasons. First, I got to start a school year where I was less confused by and anxious than the new freshmen. (This year, I already know where the bathrooms are and which keys will get me into which rooms… except for one room that I’ve never been able to figure out, so I’ve decided not to wonder about it any more.) Second, I was able to skip my very first reference desk shift of the year in order to attend the Opening Convocation (though I didn’t know that I could have processed with everyone else of importance, so next year I’ll have to decide whether or not to resurrect my academic robes). Third, I got to work and promptly spent three hours working through my inbox, which was my first clue that school had started. (Last year nobody knew who I was, nor did they care, so my inbox was quite a bit more manageable.) And fourth, it was September 11th, so it was kind of weird to celebrate the opening of a new school year while working in moments of silence to remember the tragedy. On the other hand, perhaps we were remembering September 11th while working in moments of celebration… I’ll have to decide.

I wish I’d taken my camera to Opening Convo. It’s a Carleton tradition that lots of students sit up in the balcony of the old chapel and shower the processing faculty and staff with bubbles while cheering and generally having a good time. These same students also belted out a boisterous but entirely tone-deaf rendition of “Happy Birthday” to the president of the college just when he thought he’d be starting his speech. I’ve never seen him blush before. What fun.