If you’ve been paying attention to this blog since the end of Holidailies, then you know that there hasn’t been anything to pay attention to. This isn’t so much because Holidailies ended as it is because the winter break ended. Yow.
The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed like they were about as busy as could be, but this first week back has done everything it could to give those weeks a run for their money. Over the course of this week, we’ve had to sort out our seniors into positions for the “second make” (we’re a military school, and at intervals throughout the year, our cadets are eligible for new positions and new rank). Our seniors have two makes, which means they interview for and are promoted to a position at the end of their junior years and then again halfway through (their rank can change at other intervals, but they don’t usually change positions). As a side note, the sophomores and juniors have three makes. This has to be one of my least favorite times of the year. You see, I like my boys. Some of them do a great job in the military system, some of the struggle, but I really do like them all and appreciate them for who they are. But right now, although I’m by no means solely responsible for the promotions for my unit, I am the face of promotions, and since there are so many leadership positions available, and since this is in a real way the “last chance” for these seniors (sort of—they can still be raised to higher rank, even though their positions won’t change again), we’re bound to have disappointed guys. Sometimes it’s a matter of a guy underperforming in his job and so not getting the next position he wants, but at least as often it’s a case of some other kid doing a great job and elbowing him out or having to make difficult decisions between guys who have similar credentials. We agonize over these decisions, but we’re still going to have guys who are disappointed and we may very well look back in a few months and discover that we “made mistakes.” I put that in quotation marks because I’m not comfortable with the terminology, because it seems to imply that we “should have” known better, but the reality is that we try to make the best decisions we can, and for one reason or another, those decisions may not work out.
Did I mention that this is not my favorite time of the year?
And then, so that our New Cadets don't feel left out, the end of this week marked our invitations to "First Boards." The Boards process is the process through which New Cadets become full members of the unit, by passing some tests, following the rules, etc. We have several invitations to Boards throughout the spring, but of course there's a certain prestige to being chosen for First Boards. In the long run, it's not that big of a deal, but right now it probably feels huge to the guys who are invited... and for some of them who aren't.
That's right: we find all sorts of ways to disappoint kids around here!
On top of all that, for myself I have to prepare and submit my “Annual Performance Review” self-reflection, documenting what I’ve been up to for the past year. At the same time, we’re coming to the end of the semester, so we’re trying to push all of our cadets to finish the semester strong, getting in any missing work, preparing to the best of their ability, and all that. Plus all the usual day-to-day stuff.
Not surprisingly, blogging has had to take a back seat to work and home life, especially given that the home internet service which was supposed to start working for us last Tuesday has not, in fact, started working. We didn’t even have time or energy on Wednesday to look into it, and when we did on Thursday, we were told that someone was supposed to call us about it. Sorry about that! Turns out there’s something wrong with our lines (our money is on the DirecTV guy hitting the phone cable when installing his own) and they’ll have to send someone out to take a look at it. That should happen by the end of this week. Ugh.
So yeah, no way blogging was happening for me.
We had an up and down Sunday. The weekend as a whole has been a nice recovery period. Then today we went up to church for the first time since before break started, and we went to Fiddler’s Hearth afterward, which as a revelation for us. Wow! We had heard of the restaurant, but we were super impressed. The food we had was all great and we loved the atmosphere. While we were there, a guitar player/singer/harmonica player and a hammered dulcimer / improvised percussionist were performing, and they were great. The place is small enough—and the tables large enough—that we ended up sitting at one end of a table that was already occupied by another couple when we arrived. Actually, it was kind of nice. We could hardly help interjecting ourselves into each others’ conversations, which was no bad thing. I mean, sure, it could have been, but it wasn’t. And when they left and a family with a baby a few months younger than our daughter took their place, that turned out well too.
Unfortunately, we both spent much of the rest of the day feeling ill, and we never did figure out why. Something we ate? Are we coming down with a bug? We still have no idea.
MONDAY UPDATE: Still no idea what had us down yesterday, but I'm feeling better. Lauren doesn't seem to be, but so far she's soldiering on.