Back in My Skin

I’m back at the college, and it feels great.Latin prof seems intelligent, cool and interesting… She’s actually an archaeologist.

International Communication prof gave the most pretentious class-opening monologue I have ever heard. But he’s funny and charming, thank heaven, and despite his insistence on using more words and bigger words than I considered necessary, he made some very interesting points about intercultural communication and moral relativism.

In his class I find myself sitting next to UNCA’s most only famous student, the young man featured in this NYT article from just five days ago.

While I know it’s easy to go on and on about how you really kind of know this semifamous person, and they’re really pretty nice… From what I’ve seen around the campus and in class today, and despite this student’s thuggish photo-face, he really does seem to be a polite, thoughtful and intelligent young man who handles his notoreity with humility.

And he’s a Mass Communication major! (Really, I see him and I think I see a young man with the heart of a nerd.) Go Bulldogs!

And in the best and most amazing news I’ve had all year and last year as well, my very own Rowan called me at lunchtime today to announce her undergraduate research grant was approved. This August, she’ll be flying to Ireland to research Celtic ancient religious traditions. (Heather is still waiting to hear about her grant, one for investigating to what extent local Spanish-speakers are really using outreach health programs targeted at their community.)

Needless to say, I am already gunning to drive the van during Rowan’s trip. :0)

My friends have inspired me with their work, helped me to see that my own undergraduate research (UNCA is big on it, and all Mass Comm majors have to do it to graduate) can, and probably should, be something that I feel excited about doing.

Taken at the right time and with the right attitude, college is really something else. I observed to my friend Grace whom I ate lunch with today that without college, she’d be at Applebee’s and I’d be in the backwaters and bush leagues of the freelancing profession, and neither of us would ever have known the joys and pleasures of study and research, or the kind of growth and adventure offered to us if only we can find the time and resources to pursue it.

She might still be an Applebee’s waitress, but she’s an Applebee’s waitress who wants a Ph.D. in p-chem and to study the chemical basis of obsessive behavior. And while I’m still a freelancer, I’m leaving the bush leagues and dreaming of Ireland. (In still more good news, I just got off the phone with my interview person from the big tech writing job, and it went great!)

Wow. All first days of school should go so well!

3 responses to “Back in My Skin

  1. Congrats on your interview! And your friend Rowan’s research sounds awesome.

  2. How excellent! Next time you have a day that isn’t so good, remember this one.

  3. Just the other day I was talking with a friend about how there was no intellectual tradition in modern paganism. I am really proud that my friend might help it get started, or at least increase understanding of the co-called goddess tradition, which I am sad to see engulfed by people who get their spiritual training from the New age section of a B. Dalton bookshelf.

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