Friday, May 18, 2007

Good Beginnings

Today, I had lunch with my new department chair (how much do I love saying that?), who happened to be in the GradCity area, and the friend with whom she was traveling. They're both lovely people, and I'm feeling increasingly excited about next year. Yes, I'm still nervous about the whole 4-4 thing, but I'm getting such a good feleing about the faculty and community that I think the year as a whole might not be so bad. For example, during lunch, Chair and Friend offered:

1) to lend me enough furniture to basically fit out a whole apartment next year, making the move that much easier;
2) to pick me up from the nearest major city's airport (2.5 hours away from CollegeTown) so that I could save airfare, if I decide to fly out instead of driving;*
3) to introduce me to some non-college-affiliated people whom they thinkI might like, once I get there;
4) to put me up (in the Friend's sister's house) for a month or two upon my arrival, if I have a hard time finding an apartment;
5) to fly to GradCity and drive to CollegeTown with me if I decide to drive, and can't find anyone to accompany me. It's almost a 20-hour drive.

Such kindness is, frankly, astonishing. I was very touched. It also just bodes so well for the community I'll be moving into; it was clear, both from my visit and our conversation today, that everyone in town pretty much knows everyone else, and once you're "in," you're in. Clearly, they want me to feel "in," and are willing to do quite a bit to ease my transition this summer. I think that CollegeTown will be a nice place to live.

And on top of it all, they paid for lunch!

*I am getting some relocation expenses reimbursed, but it's nowhere near enough to cover a full-on move. The bulk of my possessions will have to languish in storage for the duration of my contract.

3 comments:

Hilaire said...

Wow, that's so lovely! What amazing, generous people! They're willing to drive twenty hours with you!! That's just above and beyond...and to fly out there too! Congratulations on finding such a lovely community!

Sisyphus said...

Great, but you left out the most important information --- what did you all have for lunch? And did they spring for a glass of wine, too?

jb said...

Well, I didn't have wine. But maybe I could have if I'd wanted to...?

I am feeling incredibly lucky. Honestly, the people I've met in connection with the job--not least the department chair--have made me feel SO much better about it. It's a job that I think I would feel pretty ambivalent about, just given the location and teaching load, but the friendliness I've met with has made me feel that this could be a really good year.