Sunday, January 10, 2010

Orientation! And vacation!

I met lots of nice people at new faculty orientation on Friday. And I'm not going to lie, it sure was nice not having to heft a 25 pound kid on my hip and plead and cajole a three-year-old along with me as I half jogged across the campus to the orientation in the TWENTY DEGREE WEATHER. TWENTY DEGREES! And WINDY. I realize that some of you bust out your bikinis when it is twenty degrees (I'm looking at you Sarah), but this is simply not what I had in mind when we chose to live in TEXAS. Thank goodness I had already decided to wear tights under my dress pants for their magical control top feature. I may be a physics professor, but I still know a thing or two about avoiding visible panty lines.

Also? Classes were not in sesson, so like every other university I've been associated with, the HVAC was not working. So it was like fifty degrees in the building where orientation was. Thank goodness we were a scholarly bunch and everyone was wearing a jaunty scarf as part of their outfit. Also thankfully they provided coffee.

When I arrived I was given keys to my office (!), a university email address, a mailbox combination, and a whole lot of information about the library, the website you use to post grades and see your class roster, and a talk about the channels you go through if someone cheats. And wow did they have some awesome cheating stories.

I loved it. Everyone who talked to us was warm and helpful. The provost invited us to email him personally if we needed anything at all. The dean of the science department said the same thing... pretty cool having come from a huge research university where the administration was (necessarily) busy and generally inaccessable (with the exception of the chair of geosciences, whose wife hosted my baby shower and babysat my kids during my defense!).

After orientation we walked to the ID office as a group and got our university IDs and FROZE again. I considered that two-hundred yard walk to be my fifteen minutes of exercise for the day given all the shivering I did. I wanted to go use my new keys to open the door to my office (there are three part-timers who use it) but I was freezing and wanted to get home so I could pick Charlie up from school myself. I will go back this week sometime. My classes don't start for two weeks becausee they are labs.

My dad's first day as nanny went very well--he dropped Charlie off at school then came home where Wes slept for three hours. When I put my coat on to leave Wes waved and said "Bye bye!" but as soon as I put my hand on the doorknob to leave he broke into miserable sobs. Instead of feeling guilty, though, I spent the whole commute thinking how great it was to get up and get ready to go somewhere. Charlie gave me a vote of confidence when he regarded my nice pants and fancy shoes and said "Why you not wearin' your jammies?" A proud moment indeed.

Now Ryan and I are in a hotel room in a nearby city. Last night we attended the 30th birthday party of friend A from grad school. The boys are having a blast with my parents--each had his own personal sleeping buddy last night and they've had a bath and a nice scrambled egg breakfast this morning. We went out for fondue last night before the party, then were the first to arrive at the party and the last to leave. This morning we sat in companionable silence drinking coffee and reading the paper.

Everyone is having fun, except possibly my parents who, at this moment are attempting to sit through an hour-long church service with two wild children. Checkout time is in an hour and we'll probably eat a nice lunch somewhere and then head back to face the music. I have to say I miss the little men a litte bit.


Kyla said...

Sounds wonderful, all of it! Especially the companionable silence. LOL.

Alyssa said...

I agree - it all sounds so great! I look forward to hearing how the teaching goes!

Rima said...

You are my hero.

I'm totally serious. You are going to be LIVIN' THE DREAM, sistah! So happy for you.

apathy lounge said...

Treasure those moments together. They keep you sane...and make you a better mom in the end.

Chiconky said...

Sounds like a wonderful few days! Congratulations on the keys and office. I think that means you've officially "arrived."

AJU5's Mom said...

Glad you had a blast at orientation! And a night away sounds great. Now to get back to the real world :)

Sarah said...

How awesome! All of it! A overnight away from the kiddies sounds like a little slice of heaven, and I am so glad your orientation went well. I cannot wait to read about your life as a physics professor :) (also is you office quiet? nothing better than a quiet office)

Amy said...

Wait a minute... "This morning we sat in companionable silence drinking coffee and reading the paper." I know you and your penchant for cable when you stay in hotels! Were you really watching TV????

sarah said...

Yay!!! It all sounds fantastic! So excited for you!