Thursday, September 01, 2005

Happy new year!

I hate big box stores, both on principle and in terms of genuine from-the-gut hatred. Since its inception I've called Chapters the Death Star ("That's no moon, it's a bookstore!" "It's too big to be a bookstore!"). The one exception to this general hatred however is Staples.

Ah, Staples. You must understand my love of stationary supplies and stationary stores. The excitement other kids would have at Toys R Us was mine when I could walk into a Grand & Toy. So when the big-box phenomenon spread to include all things stationary, there was not a single molecule of my being that did not embrace the glory of the warehouse-sized building packed to the rafters with pens, pads, folders, notebooks, organizers, highlighters, duotangs, paperclips ...

Excuse me, I need to pause for a moment.

OK, I'm back. I made a trek out to the Staples by the airport (ensconced in what I think of as BigBoxville, including Future Shop, Old Navy, Superstore, CostCo, Sportcheck, Petsmart, etc etc) a few days ago, and found myself in the midst of a horde of parents carting around sullen kids getting ready for the new school year. Normally the presence of that many teenagers would fill me with the urge to build a pipe bomb, but this time I was pleasantly transported to all the Septembers in my past. I'm with Paige here on this one -- the new year doesn't begin in January, it begins in September. For twenty-nine years now my life has been organized around the academic year; new year's day for me is whatever the tuesday after Labour Day is. I've always had a lovely feeling of expectation and hope at the end of August, even in the better part of my high school days when I genuinely hated school. A sense of new things to come.

As you might imagine, I'm getting that sense tenfold right now. A new school, a new career, a new start; plus, the happy realization that the rhythms of the academic year are now officially the rhythms of my life to come.

And as we tend to look back in december, I've been very reflective over 2004-05 ... to put it mildly, a bit of a banner year for yours truly. Three milestones: finishing the PhD (finally!!), getting hired at MUN, moving out to Newfoundland.

Those are obviously the big ones. There were others (in roughly chronological order):
--MIT 384, "The Universe Next Door: Alternative Realities, Virtual and Otherwise" ... though I didn't know it at the time, my last MIT course, and (in my opinion) the best
--Kristen and I celebrated one year together in January (given the vagaries of my love life in the preceding seven years, this was in fact huge)
--I finally taught a course in American Lit, which is (technically) my field
--I taught a fourth-year seminar
--I had my first scholarly article published in a peer-reviewed journal
--I became an uncle

I have a sneaking feeling I'm forgetting things ... but these at least give the broad strokes.

It's been a good year, to say the least. And 2005-06 is shaping up to be, at the very least, interesting ...

1 comment:

Femme d'ailleurs said...

Do all university/school oriented people think the same way? I guess so, because I, too had this weird feeling recently that something is about to start. Yea, school. But it feels much more than that, it feels more like a new year, because it is , in a way.

Funny, because all the rest around us is going to sleep, away or just passes on.