The longest month

We drove into Jackson 31 days ago late in the afternoon trying to figure out just which on-campus apartment would be our home for the next six weeks. We’re near the frat and sorority houses and tonight tons of women were walking about singing sorority songs near our place on the last night of their rush week.

Veeka on the Chinese carousel at the Memphis zoo

Got my first paycheck today. Am still assembling documents for the purchase of my third home. My parents were on their fourth or fifth home when they were my age and this won’t be my last. But getting a loan is much harder than it used to be and I’m not used to the lender scouring my bank account. I spent tonight going through an old purse and throwing out notebooks and keepsakes from four years back. Lists of Maryland and Virginia phone numbers – from babysitters to old friends – are no longer needed. I have moved on -and away. Every area code is now 731 and the time zone is now Central. I’ve made it through two weeks of school and so far, the syllabi have held up although there’s already changes I wish I could make. My co-workers have been beyond helpful and everyone has tried to make me feel welcome. Slowly I am memorizing students’ names. The big test will be helping in the production of the first issue of Cardinal & Cream, the student newspaper I’m advising. Ellen, the assistant advisor, and I have put together a rd schedule for how the paper will be produced and on Sept. 11, production night, we will see if we did the right thing. The next day, Sept. 12, is moving day.

Now that I’m teaching media stuff, am now perusing the blogs more than ever. In the what- goes-around, comes-around department, I noticed the firing of Yahoo’s Washington bureau chief  yesterday. I encountered David Chalian last fall when he had just arrived in Washington and just to find out his phone number I had to sneak into his building after hours, sweet-talk the security folks into letting me take the elevator to Yahoo’s floor (as I didn’t have the requisite pass), then cajole the secretary into giving me the guy’s work number. All this with Veeka in tow. Yes, I wanted work. When I finally connected with him to suggest how I could help Yahoo in DC, he let me get out about two sentences before hanging up. Washington is full of rude people but for someone who was trying to quickly hire a newsroom full of experienced beat reporters, there was no excuse for his behavior that day. And his remarks this week about Republicans showed the same shoddy character. Hope folks are kinder to him on his job hunt than he was to me.

This past month has been a whirl of so much to take in and learn. I’ve been visiting a host of new doctors and dentists, starting a new bank account, visiting new churches, changing the lender on my home-to-be, finding school uniforms for Veeka and keeping up with the lesson plans and meetings for new faculty. I’ve been wearing the same set of 5-6 changes of clothes for weeks, which is why I latched onto a great end-of-the-summer sale at Talbots for some new stuff. The temps have been in the 90s and 100s most of the time and it has seemed like this month would never end and I will never stop being overwhelmed. And my elderly cat, who required an emergency visit to the vet during our first week here, is not amused.

One thought on “The longest month

  1. Mary Ann

    Soon things will calm down and you’ll feel like Jackson, TN has been your home forever. Thinking of you and Veeka and sending prayers your way.

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