Grits and Tamales

Life in the Deep South, by Gabriel Aguilera

One Month Down

One month down and all is well in Dixie.  Perhaps the think I like least about this place is the layout.  Ubiquitous strip malls and big roads are unpleasant.  They are deflating.  Mercifully, traffic is rarely bad.

So far I have been too busy to sort out whether I can be happy here beyond the medium run (3 years).  I certainly can be happy and, I believe, highly productive in the short run.

Work should be productive, particularly early in the morning.  I usually arrive at the office around 6:45.  At 7:00 a handful of colleagues get together for coffee and gossip.  The group is called the “Liar’s Club” and it is quite fun.  We tease each other and make fun of our colleagues who are not there.  It’s also a good place to learn about the Air War College and its history.  Several of my colleagues have been there many years and are good at reading the political and administrative winds.  It’s a good half hour.  The trickiest part will be to carve out a couple of hours a day to write/edit.  It will be hard when teaching starts in late October, but it has been impossible in July because of settling in, orientation, and service responsibilities.  I agreed to help set up a writing center at the AWC.   I’m hoping that this is the week we’re I’ll get my legs underneath me so I can get back to substantive work of writing, preparing classes, etc.  Last week I commuted to the office via bike three times.  I hope to keep this up.  This adds up to 90 miles of riding in a week.  On days that I commute to work, whatever else happens, I rode 30 miles.  This is a good thing.

Personally, I feel OK.  I’ve had a couple of dates here and there and am looking forward to a few more this month.  A steady girlfriend would cheer me up.  I get along well with my colleagues, but most are married and have lives.   Still, the loneliness of not having good pals around does take its toll.  Settling in occupies much of my energy when I’m not at work, as does cycling.  My apartment is still not ready.  Stuff is not hanging on my walls yet and there are a few boxes cluttering up the guest room.  There is, in short, too much to do to get too lonely.  The pals will come.  They always do.

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