A day off in the middle of the week should make it feel shorter. But somehow mine felt longer, probably because I caught up with everything current at work by Friday morning, all the loose ends that could be tied up were ever so neatly knotted, the inbox was emptied, the reports were updated. I had to resort to starting to write a Family Catechesis Event I won't be running till November, just to fill in the time. The truly exasperating part of all this:: right now, I should be very busy with registration and evaluating home study students. But that presupposes that the remaining 1/3 of my families would actually register by deadline [already passed] and the home study families would keep their appointments [or, at the very least, return my calls]. This is all the more frustrating because I know from past experience that when I return to the office in mid-August after my usual one month summer break, most of the late registering families will come out of the woodwork ... and, at precisely the same time when all the textbooks arrive from the publishers and need to be inventoried and allotted, the new catechists need to be trained and vetted, the classrooms prepped, the Catechist binders need to be updated with current student information and all the Parent Orientation/Meet the Catechist materials need to be prepared. What this will mean is that my assistants and I will have to deal with the added confusion of revising class lists, recounting class materials, updating the catechist binders ... on a daily basis and at the very time when those tasks should be "done" and finalized. This invariably leads to a mistake or two or three and that inevitably leads to angry parents. And it's almost always the parent that has the least right to complain who does so. And, in my role as CRE, I represent the face of the institutional Church and thus, have to be patient and welcoming and serene ... when what I really want to do is look the recalcitrant parent in the eye and ask with my very best aging hippie intonations, "Are you freaking kidding me?" I think this is why I like the Gospel of Mark so much: it actually shows Jesus getting a wee bit testy with the apostles and with the people, even, I fear, with his Mother. Of course, He had a lot more to put up with than I do but somehow I find it comforting that even He found the people he served so lovingly a bit trying at times. It keeps me sane and smiling when I'd much rather crack a few heads together. In any case, it's good practice for the real challenge: the few really special families who will wait till the first day of class and just show up expecting me to drop everything and place their darlings, even as I run the Orientation Meetings and answer the questions of the newbies or deal with the needs of the returning families who registered on time. You gotta love the entitled few!