Another very quick sketchbook project image.
I'm getting there--slowly but surely I'll fill this book! Hopefully I'll get some free time soon when I can dash off a "goodly number" of images for it.
We're smack dab in the middle of our new student Orientation weeks, and it's been incredibly busy. Early hours coming in to work, and staying very late each day for two weeks. We've had lots of daytime activities for them, and social activities each night: a picnic, a Durham Bulls baseball game, several dinners and dessert nights, movies on the lawn in the Duke Gardens, and even a night of Bowling! (I was once told I was a "Soave Bolla.")
This current incoming class of students is really great. I'm thoroughly enjoying them--they're smart, idealistic, and a lot of fun. We're doing our best to paint them Duke Blue.
The day after Labor Day, I'll be heading off for the northeastern part of the country. I'm actually pretty excited this year, since I'll be seeing some pretty parts of New England and undoubtedly some gorgeous fall foliage.
But I sure will be glad when all this trip-planning I have to do is done. I've been working for some time on flights, hotels, rental cars, school visits, Open Houses, fairs and conferences, juggling schedules, figuring out venues for events, and I'm thankfully almost done with all the basics. Now, I'm working on the final touches, such as my pages of shipping/mailing lists for all the boxes of materials that will need to be sent out to the different destinations on specific dates, for my visits all over creation.
Somebody has to do it. Might as well be me, I suppose. I'm finally at the point where I'm getting primed for the trips to start. And once I head out on the road, I actually get into the rhythm of it all and enjoy it quite a bit. I know I'll see some beautiful places. I always do.
Some of the current new students were asking me about my job, and as I described it to them,I told them that "sometimes, they do let me out of my cage for extended periods."
The University academic life definitely has a predictable cyclic nature to it, and I find myself going through the same phases every year at this time: the initial, familiar dread of knowing I'm going to be gone for months, followed by the stress over all that needs to be coordinated and arranged, then the intense, meticulous (anal?) planning itself, and finally the anticipation and excitement that it's really starting, and I'm on my way. Once I actually go, I admit that I really enjoy it all.
I've been getting to know this MEM (Master of Environmental Management) degree class of 2012 students. Many of them are people I met initially on the road, all over the country this past year. I know that I'll have the opportunity to meet many more nice people out there this year. I won't see many of these current students again until the spring when I'm home for good this year.
Some people complain about "the young people of today," but I'm not one of them. I see these young grad students and feel inspired by their optimism and sense of purpose. I'm a lucky woman.
"Someone once told me: 'Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.'" (--Erika Baxter)
4 days ago