Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

At the Center

Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

At the Center

Article excerpt

Quiet in the midst of the storm. Boy is it hot and humid. Wait ... it's raining. Where's my sweater? Ninety degrees tomorrow? Impossible. Boy is it hot and humid....

Here we go again; it's full-swing summer in the Hudson Highlands. Last summer we watched helicopters dip "three-men-in-a-tub" buckets into the river to combat wildfires on the shore opposite the Center. This summer we are making up for last year's drought with a rain-sun-rain cycle that has the thermometer doing push-ups. I like the unpredictability and clearly the earth is happy too. Everywhere you look it's lush, green, abundant, and pulsing with life. There are frogs doo wopping, butterflies fluttering, birds chirping (at 4:30 in the morning outside my bedroom window), and cats partying all night long. It certainly isn't quiet.

A change in the weather brings changes to the rhythm inside the Center too. But while life outside is busy almost to the point of bursting, inside the steady hum quiets. We leave the usual frantic schedule of project meetings, conferences, presentations, and internal pow-wows and dig deep into piles of papers, articles, and grant applications. Also, many staff take vacation in the summer: Tom heads for the coast, Strachan has the good sense to fish trout in Canada, Ashby and Chris turn to hand-powered watercraft, and Rita (our research assistant) leaves us for Yale--a dubious vacation choice if I ever heard one. …

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