#2 son is going back to school tomorrow. He’s an orientation leader, so he’s the first of us to return to the autumn schedule. It’s been wonderful to have him here. He has actually spent most of his time at home playing video games. Some hanging out with friends, a few games of Ultimate Frisbee with them or Scrabble with the family, but mostly it’s been video games.

We’re going out this morning for Back to School shopping. This was for many years a huge big deal at our house (four kids — obviously it was) but not recently. In recent years, it’s been a matter of scouring the internet for the cheapest textbooks, and even that comes to way too much money. This year, we’re out for pencils, a laundry bag, and the experience. There may be a couple more things on that list, but that’s most of it. Doughnuts, I think, are key.

He and #1 daughter have both been sleeping in my office. Video games have been played in here, too, and the TV is usually playing DVDs of “Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” a program which has a soundtrack consisting largely of shouting and whining. With the temperatures in the triple digits, it’s also very hot back here, and of course I can’t open the blinds or turn on the lights till people get up sometime around noon.

I can’t claim that this has been completely without effect on my work. At the very least, these are stressful working conditions.

This week, though, I’ve mostly been working on my own back to school stuff. I’ve set up a faculty web page (it’s not very good, but you can look at it if you want) and am working to get it and my online courses together by the August 20th deadline. This is a lot of hours of unbillable work, frankly.

Still, it must be done. I heard someone give a talk on success once, and she said that successful people do their best on all their projects, not just the ones which will obviously provide good ROI. You never know, she said, and my experience certainly supports that claim.

I’m also writing about doctors today, probably after the Back to School Expotition.

#1 son is registered for a bunch of lit courses this fall. #1 daughter may take Photoshop at the community college where I teach; it’s being given at the same time I’m teaching a hybrid class, so we can carpool.