• Confessions of a Community College Dean

    In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.

Title

Cabin Fever

The good news is that Hurricane Irene didn’t inflict any major damage on us. I know that’s not true for everyone, and my sympathies to those who were hit. TW’s parents were up all night on Saturday bailing out their basement, which is no fun at all.

But all was not sweetness and light. Anyone with youngish kids knows what happens when the entire family is stuck inside for the entire weekend due to weather.

Cabin fever. It ain’t pretty.

August 28, 2011
 
 

The good news is that Hurricane Irene didn’t inflict any major damage on us. I know that’s not true for everyone, and my sympathies to those who were hit. TW’s parents were up all night on Saturday bailing out their basement, which is no fun at all.

But all was not sweetness and light. Anyone with youngish kids knows what happens when the entire family is stuck inside for the entire weekend due to weather.

Cabin fever. It ain’t pretty.

We had been warned to expect extended power outages, so we spent much of the weekend plugging in anything that would charge. You don’t really appreciate just how much electrical gadgetry you have until you’re forced to take stock of it all.

TB and TG built, tore down, and rebuilt a series of sofa forts in the living room. One fort featured a fairly impressive bunk bed built out of a series of chairs with quilts draped over them; another one featured a reading room. (My nerdy heart swelled with pride at that one.) They tried repeatedly to lure The Dog into various forts, but she wouldn’t until I did. Let’s just say that there’s a reason that kids built living room forts and adults don’t.

TB built a convenience store out of legos, in preparation for a stop-motion video he’s trying to make. (Anyone with helpful tips on how to do a good stop-motion video on an underpowered two-year-old windows laptop is invited to share...) He also discovered how to order books on the kindle, which I may live to regret.

We spent entirely too much time watching the Weather Channel, which can work you up into raw panic if you let it. TW and I got a kick out of Governor Christie’s statement to beachgoers (“Get the hell off the beach!”), which seemed very Jersey. Later, the kids caught Hoodwinked Too, for which I managed to stay awake for about twenty minutes. I think I inherited bad-movie-induced narcolepsy from my Dad.

Conversation fragment from the weekend:

TG: What’s dating?

TW (smiling): What do you think it is?

TG: Well, it’s when you go out to dinner and stuff, and then you get married!

So we’ll have to work on that. I guess it’s technically true, depending on how you define “and stuff.”

By Sunday afternoon, though, the novelty had worn off. There’s only so much togetherness a family can take. Work never looked so inviting...

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