Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Coming Home

so much depends
a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white
 - William Carlos Williams

On the bus ride home from campus yesterday I noticed a mural on the side of a building outside my window.  The painting itself is a little ... "cute", but then I noticed the words in white painted near the top and down the side.  It was perfect really, coming home from my first official grad school meeting, the first concentrated time in a room with the 21 other people who are beginning this journey with me, and who, it turns out, are just as scared as I am.  

Today will be spent finishing up reading (and rereading) my assignment for class tomorrow, tidying up a few things around the apartment, and making Fall's first batch of turkey pot pie. 
It's been strange, very strange, not to go to work every day, earn a regular paycheck, feel as if I am control of my support.  There's been this constant nagging in my head as I browse listings for a part-time job that says, "You're not doing enough!  You're not working, putting food on the table, contributing to bills..."  Then, yesterday, as if she knew it was exactly what I needed to hear, the graduate director said to the room, "Graduate School should be hard.  This is your job - to become a professional, a scholar, an independent thinker able to locate yourself in the larger scope of the literary traditions."  I felt that nerdy little chill down my spine that I can only assume is what those Star Trek fans feel when they walk into a gathering of their peers all dressed up in the same dramatic get-up.  I felt like I was sitting in a room filled with my own kind of Trekkies- except us, well, our transporter beams (I'm guessing on that lingo) are J-STOR articles, and postmodernism, and post-humanism, and the state of rhetoric in the contemporary classroom.  

I'm already working to figure out how to best carry my camera (along with all my books and computer) with me Thursday to take some photos of campus, all the different sculpture gardens and the view of the bay.  Oh, it is so lovely.  Last night Andrew drove up past where we were going so that he could turn around and show me the view going back down towards our destination.  The hills here are pretty steep (if you close your eyes going down - when not driving- it's like a roller coaster), so when you are on top of one the view is breathtaking.  The other direction wasn't so shabby either- Mt. Baker is towering and snow-topped.  

A very kind and fantastic new classmate of mine took me on a tour around campus yesterday and as we passed behind one of the buildings I looked up at the tree lined, mossy "forest" that towered to the side of us and remarked how different the landscape is here and how I find myself in awe each time I round a corner.  He mentioned how this surprised him, how he thought Savannah looked generally the same way, and it made me smile, considering the notions and assumptions of geography and environment I didn't even realize I had until we set out across the country.  


Kirsten said...

I don't mean to freak/bum you out, but the Grad Advisor is right. Going to school is your job. That's great if you can find a part-time gig or get a fellowship, but don't stress about it. (And this is the part you shouldn't freak about)Enjoy it while you can. This will probably be the last time you have this type of freedom.

Malinda said...

Reminds me of my first day of law school: ) Your pics are fantabulous and your words even better. Enjoy your time learning your new city and your new life.