Here is a sketch of our lab, usually so boisterous, in one of the quiet moments as the summer winds down. Even the weather seemed to give up some of its intensity today. In a week and a half, all the craziness will return, but everyone will be busy with classes – taking and teaching – and our single-minded focus on our research will be diluted with chores and administrative distractions. Though I love teaching, there is a kind of freedom in the summer research months. Before today, I hadn’t opened iCal in weeks and weeks. You can spend two days programming a new research tool, or spend a week reading a bunch of papers. You can have data analysis meetings whenever you want because everyone is always in, and long, impromptu theoretical discussions aren’t disruptive to the rest of your schedule. But now, it’s the end of August, the end of Summer; the leaves are beginning to turn on some of the Japanese Maples outside the lab, my calendar looks like a horn of plenty, and next summer seems a long, long way off.