This morning I picked up the huge pile of papers that I need to fill in and sign and tonight there's a party for new faculty. I'll do a little filling in tonight and then bring them with me tomorrow and work with the HR lady that I keep missing, it was her day off today and finish them. Today is being a day of decompressing and adjusting. Tomorrow morning orientation starts and next week there's no class but lots of meetings and orientations.
I have a room with a door I can shut, space in a nice place that's close to the school with a friendly dog and nice woman who's a former teacher and one of her daughters is a librarian. Its also a huge place, I'll have to take some pictures of it, the room I'm in clearly for one of her daughters but it feels kind of staged and not lived in. I had to shift a little TV to get a bedside table and there's no bedside lamp, which gives me the impression of a room not well lived in. I also think that she and her husband haven't lived in this place very long, its all a bit too clean. I'll take some pictures as its hard to explain but will be a good in between spot. The trick will be figuring out how to be social without too being too much as her husband works in another state during the week and her two daughters live elsewhere. She also has lots and lots of stories of the school, which are good but also kind of daunting. It also turns out that the new Lower School librarian is someone I went to SI with, she graduated in April, I in August and my favorite professor from SI is also close by. This makes me feel a lot better, because it means there won't be quite as many new meetings to do, and I have people that I can ask for help.
I'm in an area that reminds me so much of the suburbs around where I grew up though more like the ones on the Main Line, the slightly nicer ones. Swarthmore always tended towards the odder side of things, but just on my drive to the school, I've passed nice apartment places, there are great little downtowns. So I think I'm going to have to end up driving to school, but I'll be able to walk to one of these downtowns. That makes me so happy, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to do as much walking because this part of the country was truly designed with cars in mind. Ann Arbor isn't too far away and it turns out that the directions I got to go back and forth from the school were unhelpful and there are easier ways.
My drive back here was rather exciting in some not always good ways. I hit a lot of traffic going through Maryland and parts of Delaware. The first part of the drive is on small highways, mainly single lane one way or the other through Delaware and Maryland. For some reason, there were just a lot of people who didn't want to go the speed limit. Thus I created a new driving curse, may you be pulled over for speeding as there are speed traps in some of the little towns along the way.
Then I got into such a driving groove that I almost forgot to eat lunch but was good and did get something. When I was on 70, not far from the Pennsylvania border, I drove into a storm, I could see it as the sky grew dark. It was a pretty awful one as this was in a really hilly area so there was fog, misty rain and cars. I was listening to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, which was incredibly appropriate. I forget which bit I was in but as the storm lightened, the music went from dark and dramatic to lighter. Oh and there was road work everywhere, it felt like every single major highway had road work of some form or another on it.
Yesterday was long, not bad just long as it was mainly turnpike driving that just went on and on. When I hit Toledo, I went a different way as I was heading more to the East and discovered I like 280 and 75N, though I ended up in a thunderstorm and roadwork. The absolute worst bit of the drive was that 75 took me directly into Detroit during rush hour, 75 is one of those huge highways that goes in and around the city. I did end up getting where I needed to but it seemed a stupid way to get there as I could have just as easily gone around Detroit another way instead of straight through. By the time I reached the place, I'm staying, I was ready to fall over, my car is going to be properly unpacked tonight. I think this will be a good short term solution and that I'll have lots of good options for long term stuff.
Another bit of good news is that I'm finally happy with where my ineedmyfics
' story is going. I got an idea for it as soon as I saw the prompt but haven't liked anything I've written. Well, last night as I was driving around I got a new angle and have a first paragraph that I like. It still needs a lot more, but I know that I can take lines from my earlier stuff and this will end up something good.
For now, I'm finding that Caribou Coffee does pretty tasty tea. I think my favorite part of what's coming up is getting to know the area and all the people connected to the school. It just gives me such a good vibe, this is going to work. I also need to figure out a good tag for the school.