It’s Tuesday morning, the day after Labor Day. Classes won’t start in earnest at Middlebury College for another six days. Today, however, is the first full day of activities for first-year students who arrived on campus yesterday. So here I am at a reception, carrying out my role as faculty member introducing myself to parents of these new students. I sip coffee and make conversation, sometimes asking questions, sometimes answering them, and sometimes just listening to nervous banter while trying to be reassuring and friendly.