Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hickey of the Beast Wednesday Post, 8/3/2011


Chapter 21

This chapter describes the set up for Thanksgiving. In the academic calendar, American Thanksgiving (which is towards the end of November, unlike Canadian Thanksgiving, which is in October) is an odd holiday. Although it's officially only one day long, it's also always a Thursday (actually - it turns out that it wasn't a fixed date until after World War Two, but that's another story), so Thanksgiving turns into a three day break before a weekend - most schools give their students the Wednesday off for travel, and don't expect them back on the Friday after. (And, of course, students routinely ask for the Tuesday and the Monday off - often they start doing this as early as September.) In a semester system, Thanksgiving falls towards the end of the first semester, which means you really need a break by then, but there really isn't quite enough time to pick up the threads when the students come back - Thanksgiving happens and then, suddenly, the semester ends. It's this weird breathing space, right when you feel a need for a breathing space, but there isn't enough of the semester after the break to justify the break.

I bring this up, because this chapter feels like that break. There's 9 chapters after this one, and nothing much happens in this one. Connie gets some really nice character development - she goes back to the garden (the one with the dead dog or raccoon from the beginning of the book) and learns some important things about herself - but she doesn't get access to the book she needs (not yet, anyway), and the rest of her Scoobies are either off home or busy with their own Thanksgiving prep. So, a breather. And the next nine chapters are going to be a headlong rush to the end of the semester - and the end of the adventure.