Friday, September 2, 2011

Brick by Brick

I am making good progress on building the edifice of my new life here in Greencastle. Such edifices are not constructed in a day, so I've been adding new bricks steadily, where I'm at the point of being ready to add the capstone - maybe today?

First was just getting here: saying goodbye to my old life, packing the car, planning my route, buckling Ruby the jackrabbit puppet into her seatbelt, and driving a thousand miles across the country.

Next was all the logistics of settling in: finding my house (rented sight unseen), figuring out how to turn on the AC and work all the light switches, buying my first groceries, locating the only Chase ATM in town, locating the nearby Methodist church, getting the lay of the land. And settling in at the university: finding my TWO offices, getting keys to open them, dragging in my cartons of books (and deciding which books go in which office), getting my university ID, getting set up to use my ID to print on university printers (MANY hours of tears), and decorating my philosophy department office door. Plus days of new faculty orientation and welcome-back picnics and parties galore.

Another row of bricks was organizing how I would spend my days: MWF at my peaceful, serene office out at the Prindle Institute for Ethics, Tuesday/Thursday at my cozy office in the philosophy department on campus - and what kind of work I would do on each day.

Then I had to start DOING the work: finalizing the syllabus for my class, meeting with my students, organizing my reading group for the Prindle, making a plan for my Prindle intern.

Oh, and exercise! I had to start walking again. I found that the walk from the shabby end of Seminary Street (where I live) to the posh end of Seminary Street (where the university president lives) is a half hour, there and back. So I've started doing that every morning before I leave for work. And I found out how to walk to the Prindle entirely on trails through the university's 500-acre nature park, and I've started exploring walks within the park as well.

But now I have to start doing the core work of my life: writing. Here is where my building-an-edifice metaphor breaks down. Writing is not the capstone. Writing is the foundation. I would never have been invited here if I hadn't written all those papers in college and graduate school, written a doctoral dissertation, written enough articles to get tenure. And I wouldn't be who I am if I hadn't written my 45 children's books. I try to remind myself of this every single day: WRITING IS THE FOUNDATION OF EVERYTHING.

So now I have to start writing. Today. TODAY IS THE DAY I AM GOING TO START WRITING.

There, I said it.
Now I'm off to do it.


  1. Didn't you just do it (see above)? Surely you don't mean to imply that blog writing isn't REAL writing?

  2. Amen Scott!
    ... and syllabus writing (two-bits she's thrown some symbolic, explantive phrases in what might have been 'just a class syllabus' to peak student interest.) ...not to mention the walks and ponderings and the new stories dropping in her lap because of this new adventure, and jotting down the ideas. And. And. Living is the foundation, too, because you remember to write it down.

    I like your blog.

  3. Aw, shucks! Blog writing IS real writing, and VASTLY more people read my blog than read any academic article of mine, that is for sure.