I’ve been watching the hurricane coverage all morning: it’s just devastating. And the terrible thing is, we’re only just beginning to see the damage, as people are only just now able to get in to see what’s happened. It seems wrong that I can be sitting here, not that far away, on a pretty end-of-summer day, drinking my coffee, just fine. Amazing that we can worry so much about what we do to each other, and then nature yet again shows who is really the boss. Think a good thought for everyone down there in the South, if you would. They need it today.
Meanwhile, it’s the first day of classes at UNC, and for the first time in eight years, I am not standing in front of twenty or so students, going over a syllabus and taking roll. Instead, I’m at a coffee shop, miles from campus, getting ready to get back to editing my new book (chased out as I was from my house, and the ongoing banging and crashing). My friend Marianne, who has been on leave several times, said it’s strange to be away from teaching for the first week or so, and then you never want to go back. I’m not sure about that, but so far it is odd. And nice.
I feel like I’ve been on the university schedule my whole life, because I pretty much have. When I was a kid, my parents were both on the faculty, so our lives revolved around semesters and winter and summer breaks. Then I was a student there myself, left for a couple of years, and came back to teach. The last time I wasn’t university-affilitated was when I was working at the Burrito, a professional waitress and struggling, wannabe writer. So I was a waitress/writer, and then a lecturer/writer. Now I’m….a writer, I guess. Singular. Which is terrifying, odd as that sounds. But also kind of nice.
Actually, better not think about it too much. Introspection is not always a good thing. As my husband would say, “Do it, then talk about it.” Good advice. So it’s back to the book, then. Here we go….