No matter how late we start classes, the arrival of Labor Day always feels like the end of summer to me.  As I’m gearing up for the fall quarter, mostly by working to complete all the lingering tasks, I’m realizing that I did a good job of tuning out from my regular work schedule.  Last week I went to my office downtown for the first time since mid June.  Due in part to my crazy travels this summer, today was the first day I ventured into the local grocery store since June.  This week I’ve gotten back to waking up at 7 am again, after a long stretch of later sleeping, broken only by the week of 5 am starts while on my mother’s ranch in Arizona.  Yes, I spent a lot of my summer days working furiously in my home office and getting tons done, but having broken the usual routine feels important.  It makes the return to the academic year feel surprising, odd, and strangely exhilarating.  It was only a bit over two months, but stepping back into all the things I used to do is fun.  And that’s the most I ever hope for my summers.