Monday, August 30, 2010

news from the flatlands

But you know how it is. There's always more work to be done, or so (too) much has happened, or it's 8 o'clock and exhaustion has already hit, or I'm just not feeling it.

Enough with the excuses. This blog is my sanity.

Almost 2 weeks ago now, I taught my very own class for the first time. Writing that down still thrills and startles me a little bit. Remember how for the last seven years I've said I will do anything but teach? Remember that? Well. Now I've got 14 bright faced freshmen babies. Half of them are bigger than I am. They are still my chilluns. And I go in, and I just get -I don't know- excited. Happy to see them every MWF, 8 am. Let's hope that doesn't change.

Grad school, so far, is a bit like being a freshman all over again. The same lostness. The overwhelming mass of work. The loneliness and wondering why I'm here and what I'm doing.

In the midst of all the lonely and tired, there are definite glimmerings and outright excitements. Like supper with J. and N. after that first week, laughing and remembering and storytelling. And glory be, I've already found folks who are Arrested Development devotees and we've had the second of what I think will be many Sunday night viewings. And going to a genuine supper club and chatting with warm and welcoming adult mid-20s people and feeling like an absolute baby by comparison and loving it.

I've got to grieve, as I learn the balance of keeping the gold and still letting go of what's gone. I miss my city. I miss my friends. I miss the hills. I miss having a Target closer than 2 hours away.

It's a desert. And the chance to make it bloom.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

the first wilds

How long does it take an English student to put together a simple wooden desk?

(Much, much too long)

But my lovely $20 IKEA desk is finished, and if I weren't so tired I would be proud. Now all I need is a chair. So I can sit at it. And do work. Instead of on my bed.

Then again, the bed is very comfortable.

Today was the second day of orientation. Yesterday was the University wide program, and it was excruciating. Unbearable. Primal scream inducing painful. Awful. I'm not going to say anymore about it.

This morning was better. Yes, the speakers were still dull. But there are students here from Cameroon and Sri Lanka. And when I bought a candy bar at the vending machine, but it didn't drop all the way out, and I was feebly pounding the side, a forestry student emerged from the dark hallway and shook the dickens out of that machine and I got my candy bar.

And then, thank heaven, after lunch we were released to the English department orientation. And were let go early, in order to, get this: relax. And I am excited about teaching and the poetry class, and yet more than anything, dead tired and now I want to read. Adieu, dear people. More to come.