Yesterday, Luke called me from campus and said, “Uh, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but sirens are going off and students are being escorted out of Grote Hall.” It’s the end of midterms, and a midterm cycle can’t be complete without a bomb threat.
Aside from the very remote possibility of an actual bomb, the threat is a massive hassle. Grote Hall is the chemistry building, which explains why bomb threats are almost always centered at Grote. If I were a freshman, I’d want to get out of a chemistry exam too. But the threats play merry heck with our schedules. Luke is a full-time chemistry major with two jobs and research. Ariel is a full-time math student with a job. Jacob is a dual enrollment student taking Calc 2 lecture and lab. For everyone’s schedule to work together, it takes a spreadsheet and a careful car usage study. Thus, when everyone’s schedule gets whacked (they empty buildings one at a time, and some buildings not all, and no one knows which/when) and the parking lot is off-limits because the bomb dogs are sniffing the cars, it makes my spread sheet irrelevant.
I get phone calls. “Uh, could you pick me up?” I say, “Sure.” (I think, “Ack! I was editing—I’m not going to get this chapter done.”) “Where shall I pick you up?” Adult child, “They’ve closed the road. So I’ll try to get to the corner of X and Y streets.” After I got to campus and passed the fire trucks, etc., and picked up said child. The child said, “I’m so glad to have a mom who can pick me up. Most students are sitting on the sidewalk, missing work. Thanks.” And then, I remember that editing isn’t the most important thing in my life.