Brigham Young University’s fall academic term began on Monday.
My own classes began on Tuesday.
I’m teaching MESA 250 — “Introduction to Islam” — and MESA 467R — a course on the Qur’an that will read and discuss the text in English — along with an independent readings course (Arabic 490R).
I’m happy to report that things are still going well, that I haven’t fallen catastrophically behind yet.
That’s quite an achievement for me.
But, so as not to make matters too easy, I’m leaving early Friday morning (actually, effectively, Thursday night) for a trip to Turkey.
It’s on University business — actually, quite awkwardly and almost certainly my last such undertaking, on Maxwell Institute business — but it’s still ill-timed. Scarcely a good way to begin a new academic term, even though I have the classes reasonably well organized for this foreseen absence, and much more than adequately covered. (Three wonderful friends — Drs. Donna Lee Bowen, Lisa DeLong, and James Toronto — have kindly agreed to come in and help.)
Oh well. It’s not as if I hate Turkey! On the contrary: It’s one of my favorite places in the world. If I’m going to mess up my classes and virtually guarantee falling desperately behind at the very start of a new academic year, a visit to Istanbul is far from the worst occasion for doing it.