Welcome Me Back
Two weeks ago my family returned to the midwest after 12 years in the DC area. Before that we were in Madison, WI and before that we were in Grand Rapids, MI. Midwesterners at heart and in soul, the recent return, this time to Minnesota, was a welcome change. A bit like coming home. Except that we're making a new home to go along with the new job (I took a faculty position at UMN). New friends, new place to get pizza, new place to get my hair done, new doctors and dentists, new places to walk my dog. Lots new. So, while it is all new, this blog will offer my perspectives about the Twin Cities. Until it feels like I've always lived here. Meantime, please join in. Tell me what its like from your perspective. And help me feel like I've always lived here.
A bit about me. My name is Susan Walker and I am coming to work in the Curriculum and Instruction Department as an Associate Professor. My field is parent and family education. I have a daughter Alice and husband Patrick. And a pug (that's a dog) named Audrey and two cats named Grace and Oscar.
So we landed in the Twin Cities on August 21 after a summer of hell in Silver Spring, MD. The hell was in getting the house ready for the market (in a very bad housing market), while making three trips for a wedding, a memorial and to look for housing, and while teaching an online course for the Univ. of MD. We are living in a newish apartment complex in Highland Park/St. Paul, selected primarily because it is in a good school attendance area, allow pets and would give us a short term lease.
Week 1 found me in 3 days of orientation and bringing boxes to my new office. Week 2 offered more orientation (department, college), a college assembly, and a department retreat. Introductions to staff and faculty and learning procedures. I got lost twice. One mistake was following directions to the West Bank campus from Mapquest (what's up with 32nd street off of Minnehaha Pkwy?). The other was turning on what I thought was University and finding myself crossing a bridge to the West Bank campus (it was actually Washington Ave.). So one day I can't find the West Bank campus, the next day I get there by mistake.
After all that orientation (which it turns out was only partly orienting given my unintentional detours), I have yet to get lost coming to campus. My plan is to take the ever lovely East River Pkwy from southern St. Paul until it ends on University, right to 15th, then left to parking.
After a Labor Day break, it was back to campus today. Greeting all the students returning to UMN, only a bit secure in my place here.