Sunday, August 19, 2007

Once More Unto The Breach...

Before the Battle of Harfleur, King Henry V rallies his troops in Shakespeare's play, with the following lines,

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,..."

(Act III, Scene 1).

It is my tradition to utter these lines, below my breath, as I leave my office on the way to my first class on the first day of the new school year. Tomorrow I will utter these lines, in accordance with the tradition.

The Summer break will be over tomorrow. Overall, it has been a good and productive one. As is usually the case, I have not managed to get quite as much accomplished as I had hoped. However, a great deal of research has been done and written up. One paper I have been plugging away at is quite close to completion. It should not take me long to get it finished and submitted.

It is also going to be a busy semester. Just last week, I got the contract from the publishers for a book chapter that needs to be finished and submitted by the end of the year. I have also had a paper, largely composed of entirely new research, accepted at a large and important conference in October. Both these projects and the one that remains from over the Summer will have to be finished during this semester. This should keep me out of trouble.

The last week or so has spun past as a blur. There have been the class materials to get prepared. There has been the arrival of the new truck and the finding of a buyer for the old one. There have been pre-semester get togethers. There was the necessity of getting the laptop fixed. There was also an incident involving my house, a tree branch and the loss of both cable and telephone lines. In addition to all this, there have been some rather special happenings. So, things have been busy, but in a curious way, fun and wonderful.

Thus, I am ready for the battle that will be the new academic year. I feel ready to face it with stiff, yet supple sinews, summoned and hearty blood and with a joyous countenance. Let the games begin!

The CP

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