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Saturday, August 19, 2006
Settling In
Today I woke up and for the first time since we moved I wasn't surprised when I saw my bedroom. For the past few weeks, I've woken up and had that sudden, "Where am I?" feeling, and it would take me a few seconds to realize that I was sleeping in my room at Pond House. Day after day -- and especially since the master bedroom has been painted -- Pond House feels more like home and my house in Doctoral University City is passing into memory as a place I used to live.

We are settling in here, and it feels good. We have a new morning ritual, which involves all of us standing in front of our kitchen window, staring intently at our bird feeders. This morning was exceptional for bird-watching: in the span of 15 minutes, we saw a few pairs of Baltimore orioles, a pair of cardinals, nuthatches, a hummingbird, two Downy woodpeckers, a pair of goldfinches, and a blue jay. We also watched chipmunks effortlessly climb onto our feeders and scoop millet out of the bottom and into their little mouths by the pawful, a situation we (hopefully)remedied by buying a new feeder pole the squirrels and chipmunks cannot climb. T and I both come from families of birdwatchers, and so it's no surprise that we can stand in front of our window for a long time, just staring out at the magnificent and colorful birds in our yard. We actually just returned from our local bird store, where we bought additional feeders and another pole to mount them on. I hope the birds are excited by all of the new dining establishments we are opening for their enjoyment (and ours)!

The house is also feeling right. We are nearly fully unpacked; there are just a few stray boxes of miscellaneous and non-essential items that I'm reluctant to dig out of their resting places. I can find nearly everything I need now, and T is beginning to be satisfied with the state of the garage. The coup de grace, however, came yesterday morning with the arrival of our new washer and dryer. I have been (not-so) patiently waiting for a good deal so I could buy the laundry pair I wanted without breaking the bank, and Best Buy had a deal this past week we couldnt' refuse: two-year no interest financing (which we didn't need, but it's nice to have as a back-up), sale price on the washer and dryer we wanted, plus 15% off the dryer and free delivery and installation. We ended up buying a GE front-loading pair, and they work like a charm (so quiet -- you can barely tell the washer is on!). For a laundry-addict like me, this is bliss.

I'm also feeling quite at home in my new department. I was there three days this week, and my colleagues are truly wonderful. They have given me every sort of assistance and guidance, and we've had some lovely discussions about the future of the department, funding for projects, joining different research consortiums, etc. Amy, the administrative assistant, has been helpful as always, too, and never makes me feel like the questions I'm constantly badgering her with are stupid or a waste of her time. When the department chair asked me if I needed anything, I said something like, "No, really everything has gone very smoothly!" and he smiled, nodded, and said, "Good. That's what we wanted for you." So, life is good.

The only thing I really need to do to feel completely settled is to finish my syllabi (I still have two weeks, and I'm nearly done anyway) and make my office feel less institutional. I was given $2,000 by the Dean when I came to spend on a computer and any other "office start-up" items. After my computer and laser printer, I have about $350.00 left to spend, and I'm not sure what to buy or what qualifies. I'll have to ask Amy next week. Any suggestions?
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 8/19/2006 02:33:00 PM  
4 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 4:54 PM, Blogger ScienceWoman said…

    If you have room, I'd buy a couch or comfy chair for students (or reading or napping). Or maybe a nice lamp if you have fluorsecent lights. Or some really spiffy organizational system. Or a really good work chair. Yes, I could spend your $350, no problem!

  • At 5:40 PM, Blogger Peri said…

    Good suggestions, Science Woman! What's already in there, Prof. Me?

    I'm so impressed with how quickly your house has become home. I think you've done a year's worth of projects in mere weeks. :) Good for you and T.

    What's the schedule for ST and preschool?

  • At 4:34 PM, Blogger Prof. Me said…

    Oooh, SW I love the idea of a little couch! I'll see if that's one of my options. I'm not sure what exactly is covered by "office start-up" funds. I do know that one of my colleagues used his extra money to buy a new computer desk.

    Peri, here's what's in the room now:

    Metal office desk (in good shape)
    Ugly computer desk (wood, cheap)
    Two swivel chairs (pretty comfortable)
    Two large metal bookcases
    Filing cabinet

    There's no task lighting, just fluorescent lights above. I do have a nice window, though, for natural light. My plan (especially if I can really get a little couch!) is to remove the computer desk altogether. The metal desk is HUGE and can easily accomodate my flat screen and printer, plus desktop items.

    Regarding ST and preschool, I'm a little frustrated. I enrolled him in this preschool in late May, and they were really easy to deal with. Now, I can't get ahold of the director to set up his first day, which will probably be September 4. I'm hoping the director was just on vacation and that's why she hasn't emailed me. I'm going to call there tomorrow to see what's up. Additionally, it's pretty far from where we live -- I chose it for the programs it offered, not the location -- but that's not too big of an issue. My total commute will just be about 20 minutes instead of 10. I really can't complain about that!

  • At 11:59 PM, Blogger Lilian said…

    Oh, the washer and drier seem great!! and they're not that expensive either - good you got the discount, though!

    Let me share something about ours. When we got married in Brazil I got front-loading a washer (we line dry there) as a wedding present (awesome, uh? too bad we had to sell it 1 1/2 years later to come the U.S.). Anyway, when we were finally able to buy a house (2001) I bought one (a Kenmore), even though it was much more expensive than the other ones and, what I wanted to say is - I made my husband move them to the previous house to this one! He said he will never do this again, and now that I see the prices of those you bought, I think he's right. We'll leave ours here and buy new ones, yay!

    Sorry for hijacking the comments, but since you love laundry, I thought you'd enjoy my little "story" :)

    And I should be packing right now, but I'm here commenting, how terrible is that?

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