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Nearly two weeks ago, I decided that I needed to stem the agoraphobic tendencies I’ve acquired since grad school, and a quick trip home would be in the best interest of my sanity. After much consultation with both sisters, I bought a plane ticket to Omaha and told only four people of my plans–leaving out my parents and nieces. So when my sister brought my nieces to the airport to pick me up, they had no idea I was the person they were there to see. One niece was so excited, she tripped as she ran towards me.

She eventually made it to me:

And then it was on to my parents’ house to really get the full effect of the surprise. We called my sister in Texas to let her know we were on the way to mom and dad’s, so she called them to hear their reaction when they saw me. Quite the fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I saw a couple of friends, got to eat at some quality restaurants (I rarely go out to eat here) and didn’t do a stitch of homework the whole time. It was lovely.

But now I am back to the salt mines, and I spent today trying to catch up, working on papers and lectures, and watching a little bit of TV in between. Tomorrow is more of the same. And I’m already dreading, absolutely dreading, losing an hour of sleep tomorrow night. It makes me want to cry.

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