Hello, my lovely readers! HELLO! Holy smokes! Has it really been almost a month since my last post? Sheeze, so much for “I plan on posting a lot more in the near future.” HA! It has been one of the busiest and most glorious and exciting times of my life, that’s for sure. It’s not that I don’t have anything to post about, because let me tell you, there’s so much news I don’t know where to begin. Rather, I’ve been so busy that I just haven’t had two seconds to sit down and write a post. All I can say is that my blogging schedule will be erratic for the next few months.
Being a full-time professor with classes to teach, advising hours, service duties, and research and writing requirements has been a lot more time-consuming and exhausting than I thought it would be. Honestly, I really didn’t know what I was walking into. Folks told me that my first year would be challenging, but geez louise! Challenging is an understatement!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m LOVING every minute of it. I’m back in the classroom and teaching American Art to a group of students who are engaged and awesome. My online Introduction class is going really well this semester. I’m seriously enjoying working with LIVE Lab to develop educational videos games for art history. And I’ve been spearheading some really cool and innovative pedagogical planning here at TAMU … something I’ll discuss more when proposals go out and plans solidify. My research and writing has taken a back burner while I navigate new duties, a new campus and a new city/state. However, spring break is coming and my schedule is going to regulate a bit more, so I’ll have time to edit, research, and write. Here’s hoping that I get those two papers I’ve been “sitting on” edited and out to be reviewed and considered for publication before the end of March! Yes, I’ve been spinning like a top … but boy! has it been fun!
“How’s Texas, Professor Z? Are you finally settling?” I can hear you ask. I have to admit, I kind of … disliked it … when we first got here. Maybe it was because I was already exhausted from packing and moving, or because everything just caught up with me? Or maybe it was because I was listening to folks who kept telling me that Texas isn’t New York and that I’m going to have a hard time adjusting? Hell, folks in New York and in Texas kept pushing the narrative that I’m going to be in for quite a culture shock and that I might have a hard time politically, spiritually, and culturally.
Yes, things are different than New York City. Yes, you can’t throw a stone without hitting a cow, an Aggie, or a church, including those crazy megachurches! shudder Yes, there are some pretty huge political and social differences. But, the folks here are really nice and sweet … and super helpful. I’ve found a little niche of liberal and Democrat folks who are political engaged. I also discovered that I really like the slower pace, the ranches, the brush and oaks, the birds … all those birds, the critters, and manageableness of my life. I like being able to breath clean air. I also like my “elbow room” — space to move and relax without being crushed by the throngs of people. And let’s face it, I really like my school, the students, and my department. Sure, it’s going to be insanely hot this summer … I get it. But that’s not enough to scare me away or make me miserable. And food here in Bryan-College Station is surprisingly diverse and delicious. Oh who am I kidding? The BBQ is divine.
So after two months, I can say with complete confidence that I really like Texas, its wonderful people, and our awesome Aggies. Hell, we like it so much that we’re buying a house. WHAT?!? Yuppers, we’re buying the house that we’re currently renting! The contract is signed and we were pre-approved for a mortgage. We’re just waiting for everything to go through, including the inspection and assessment. We even have a closing date: March 31! SQUEE! When did I become an adult? The house has a yard and you know what that means? GARDENING. WAHOO! And canning and cooking and all sorts of awesome stuff that I miss.
Indeed, life has been busy. But, it’s been really, really awesome.