Friday, January 28, 2011

A Good First Week

Today marks the end of the first week of the spring semester. I spent the morning in a meeting with colleagues, hammering out a slate of candidates to interview for a position in Communication/Theater Arts. After we adjourned, a couple of us stayed to chat, and all three of us remarked at how collegial the atmosphere was. We got a lot accomplished in two hours, and we left the meeting feeling hopeful for the future. All three of us commented on how great it was to work on our particular campus—and how many people we know in academia have it so much worse.

The meeting basically reinforced my feeling of gratitude for my positive departmental tenure vote. I don't think I could find a better place to work, and I am in no way blowing sunshine out of my nethers. I really feel fortunate to have landed where I have.

I am getting to know a new "batch" of students, and my classes are all full (except for my literature course, and that's to be expected—but I still have 25 students). I feel pretty good about the way things have started, but we'll see what happens when I sit down with the first batch of papers.

I have a lot to look forward to—Hubby and I are going to Chicago in two weeks to stay at the Ruby Room, a teeny boutique hotel in our old neighborhood—within easy walking distance of our favorite restaurant, Penny's Noodle Shop. The Penny's on Damen is under the Blue Line El stop, and Hubby and I used to meet there on Friday nights after work for dinner, then walk home together to our place above Village Laundry, a 24-hour laundromat with booming TELEMUNDO! broadcasts and hordes of badly-behaved children. We decided last year that a good way to celebrate being together would be to go to Chicago on the anniversary of our first "date" weekend. Last year marked 10 years—the first time we met up to go out was for a Handsome Family show at Schuba's—I was out with Danny and Gina Black (of the once-again defunct alt-country band The Blacks) and told Hubby that he could meet me there. He did. The rest is history. Most of it good.

I turn 40 at the end of March. Not so much looking forward to that, as I am to getting together with my best friend when I'm in Florida for the College English Association conference. I honestly cannot believe that it's been 12 years since this photo was taken:
@Bite, Chicago October 1998

I talked to her today—and it was like we just talked last week, even though it's been considerably longer than that. It's been more three years since I've seen her—August 2007. She lives in NJ, works in Manhattan—we both have kids now, and both of us have jobs that are stressful and leave little time and energy left over. I'm very much looking forward to hang time with her.

Yes, life is good. Now I'm going to see if I can access the new season of Archer.

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