There are some giant spiders here in Barnesville. "Garden" spiders, I'm told. I wish they'd stay in the garden! I also saw a skunk cross the road when I was lost yesterday. I knew I was probably not going the right way when the road started getting narrower and narrower and bumpier and bumpier and shadier and shadier. Luckily, this was not a Stephen King novel. And then I saw the skunk. He was trying to skulk across the road stealthily, as if he wouldn't be seen. I would say he was cute, but then I'd be revealing my suburban roots ... But he did, honestly, look just like the skunk in Bambi.
So much has been going on its hard to unravel all the thoughts. First, I am taking to my new little white house. Now this perplexes me because I know my house back in Columbia, objectively speaking, is "better." It's bigger and newer and of course, as it's been continuously lived in by its owners (us), it's in better repair, but there's something in this new little house that speaks to my soul ... or as one of my new friends said, maybe my appendix ... I love the hardwood floors and the views and the bigs windows, and I also love the rooms being close together. I like going a few steps down the hall from my bedroom to the kitchen rather than down a hall, down a flight of steps, through another hall, through a family room ... It's cozy and snug here.
Yesterday, I missed lunch because I was on a job interview for a position as adjunct English instructor at Belmont Technical College. The wonderful cooks fed me anyway in the big kitchen where we have breakfast. That made me very happy. I had vegetable quiche and a cookie (if you're interested!). I have been doing what is called "dish crew," essentially helping to do the dishes, and have loved learning the ins and outs of the kitchen here, with all its big pantries and prep rooms. It's very orderly, and clean. And bright and old-fashioned.
I think, however, I'm not cool enough for this place. We have a lot of very cool people here, and I just can't keep up. As people who know me will attest, coolness is not one of my chief attributes. I'm also not terrifically athletic, so the five mile runs and etc. are beyond me. But I enjoy hiking past the lake everyday to meals and looking at the wildflowers and geese as I go. I hope to do more hiking (on a moderate scale) as I settle in.
There were some wonderful moments when we all introduced ourselves during a meeting. Several teachers read poems. One staff member read a Rilke poem that a teacher had left in everyone's mailbox last Valentine's day and said she loved working in a place where someone would leave a poem in her mailbox. Ela, our admissions director, played the cello to help introduce herself, and her husband Bill played a Celctic tune on a pipe he'd carved himself. Those introductions (and others) made me very happy to be at the school. But naturally, I still miss home.
Enough for now. Students arrive today, so the quietness of the summer season will end, and Sophie moves to the dorm. This is good for her but feels a little sad or odd to me even though she will only be a few hundred yards away.
I hope everyone is doing well.