I missed PFEW Week III this year. Had to. Between my RMU class schedule, the amount of sick and vacation time accumulated, and the week that the students' summer break was scheduled, I just couldn't swing it.
For the record, it nearly killed me.
I did not get to make my usual drive to Williamsport, make my usual stops along the way, take the new route that I learned last year, wear my collection of PFEW polo shirts, hear the usual banter, or take the usual abuse about my inability to tell jokes.
I did not get to hang out with people that I have known, for over ten years. Or ten weeks, depending on how you count.
I did not get to drink responsibly in the hospitality room, stay up irresponsibly late, laugh until I could not breathe, or function on an average of six hours sleep per night for seven nights.
I did not get to tell my latest joke, one that is deliberately bad. (If I told a good one, well... my fellow CA's would probably not know what to do.)
Last but not least, I did not get to work with a team of teens who are among the best and the brightest. I did not get the privilege of seeing them grow from a group of total strangers to a team -- or from a group of not-always-so-certain kids to confident business folk.
After all, it's only 50 weeks until PFEW, Week III, 2010.