Monday, October 31, 2016

New Kid Again

Once I was the new kid every other year or so--my folks spent a chunk of their life moving a lot in their quest for the perfect job and the perfect place to live--or just a better job with bosses that weren't so icky.  And then there was the year of the Ronald Reagan RIF, which meant they had to move, as my dad needed to stay employed as a federal employee and the only place that had federal jobs had just laid off all the people employed in the past few years.

All of that to say, once being a new kid would not have felt unfamiliar to me.  Now, the last time I was a new kid seems very far away--because it was, back in 2002.  Then I went to a job created because the student population was booming and they needed more English faculty members.

Before I started in January, I had gone to a welcome to the English faculty luncheon.  Then 48 hours later, my mother-in-law, who lived in the same city, fell and broke her shoulder.  I worried that I would report for my first day too tired to make a good first impression.  But I was teaching, and it was fine.

I will say more about my new job and the first day as the week progresses, but I expect it to be a hit-the-ground-running kind of week.  Accreditation documents in their rough draft form are due this week, so that submission deadlines a month from now can be met.

As I'm listening to news about Hillary Clinton's e-mails (AGAIN???  really?) and seeing the predictable Facebook outrage, I'm thinking about my own e-mails.  Once I e-mailed all sorts of stuff to my work e-mail; I used my work e-mail as back-up to my personal e-mail and vice versa.  Once I didn't have faith in the back-up servers at work, or I didn't know that we even had one.  I have this on the brain, as I've just spent some time sorting through some of those documents as I prepared to leave my old job.  Like Hillary, I've had poor e-mail boundaries--but of course, I wasn't working in a setting with high security parameters like the state department.

It's very strange to have voted early, and still have the election ongoing.  I am ready for this election to be done.

Last night, we went to the ukulele gospel sing at our church parsonage.  We ate a great meal and had fun picking our way through various gospel standards.  It was great to sing, even if I couldn't always play.  In the pace of the last 6 weeks, what with travelling and job shifts, I've gotten away from the simple joy of the ukulele.  But Christmas is coming, and there is music to prepare.

It was a great way to take my brain away from the potential anxiety that comes with being a new kid.  What's different about being a grown up new kid who lives in the same location is that I have friends elsewhere.  The stakes don't seem as high as they did when I was starting a new school in the middle of 10th grade.

I still have some of the same worries, mainly around what I should wear and what will need to be done in what order.  But it's better being a new kid as a grown up than being a new kid as a child.  It is a bit surreal to have one's first day be Halloween. 

But first, the tasks that do not change:  to go to spin class and to eat some porridge, to take care of the physical self so that the mental self can shine!

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