What the heck happened to February? Seems just a week ago I was filling out reams of pre-employment paperwork and spending a fortune on marksmanship gear, and as of today, I have four nights left at home before reporting to Eglin AFB for range qualification for a week, then moving my butt up to Cambridge to sit in a corporate apartment for a month while I look for listings my wife might deign to evaluate for purchase.
She, in the meantime, has to select a brokerage to handle the sale of this house we’ve lived in for sixteen years (we have a choice of two, interviewed one yesterday and another is coming on Friday), organize with an “estate sale” firm who will assist her in getting rid of all the stuff we don’t want to take with us, stage the house, and put it on the market, and deal with the movers. She’s done all of this countless times, of course, with every PCS (Permanent Change of Station) we made while I was in the army, but she’s not looking forward to it.
Luckily her birthday is on Saturday, and I’ve made reservations at a Brazilian steakhouse for the two of us – One last indulgence before being separated for a month with little time to talk to each other. Good grief, it feels like a deployment, or my staff time as an S-3 (Plans & Operations) when I was a Major – TDY (Temporary Duty) here, there, and anon, keeping me away from home for extended periods.
OK, perhaps not a deployment. This time no one will be shooting back at me (unless a disgruntled MIT student busts a cap in my a** – Unlikely, since I’m not faculty, just a staff member on the ballistics and trajectory team…I won’t be grading anyone). But TDY? Oh yeah. This is the civilian version of TDY.
Anyhow, I’m all packed, the flu has passed, I’m taking a break from the range today to take eldest daughter clothes shopping, and there’s Portuguese red wine to look forward to on Saturday evening. The only fear I have is the fear of how much I’m going to miss my bride for this upcoming month…I really am quite fond of her.
And don’t think the irony of starting a new job where I’ll be firing small arms every day at work in the midst of the latest “ban all the guns” furor escapes me – It amuses me mightily.
Here’s some morning reading for you while I suffer at the mall:
On Monday, as the news of the Virginia Tech shootings was unfolding, I went into my advanced constitutional law seminar to find one of my students upset. My student, Tara Wyllie, has a permit to carry a gun in Tennessee, but she isn’t allowed to have a weapon on campus. That left her feeling unsafe. “Why couldn’t we meet off campus today?” she asked.
Virginia Tech graduate student Bradford Wiles also has a permit to carry a gun, in Virginia. But on the day of the shootings, he would have been unarmed for the same reason: Like the University of Tennessee, where I teach, Virginia Tech bans guns on campus.
In The Roanoke Times last year – after another campus incident, when a dangerous escaped inmate was roaming the campus – Wiles wrote that, when his class was evacuated, “Of all of the emotions and thoughts that were running through my head that morning, the most overwhelming one was of helplessness. That feeling of helplessness has been difficult to reconcile because I knew I would have been safer with a proper means to defend myself.”
More at the link. Out here,