Friday, August 27, 2010

Off and limping!

The fall semester officially kicks off Monday, but freshman orientation began today, so I'm now on the clock. This morning I met my 35 (!) "exploratory" (= undeclared) advisees, and I expect a handful of them to trickle in to the office an in hour or so to make some last minute schedule changes.

I haven't had the most auspicious first week. On Sunday morning, I was stretching my legs in bed. I flexed my foot, and something in my ankle popped. By the time church was over, I couldn't put any weight on it and was in a lot of pain.

There's never a "good" time to be injured, but the timing of this injury is especially difficult, because I've had a faculty meeting/workshop every day this week, and all of them are mandatory. Taking Metro to school while on crutches is almost impossible--the campus is built on a hill, the train station is at the bottom of the hill, and most of the buildings I haunt are a good 5-10 minute walk when I'm unimpaired. My husband had to arrange to work from home this week and play chaffeur, for which I am thankful.

As bad as the timing was, the experience has actually been uplifting. I've been reminded of how much I love my school family. We have such a great spirit of community here--I haven't had to beg for help when I've needed it, as I might at another school. In fact, I haven't even had to ask for help, because every time I've turned around, someone has been there to say, "stay put and I'll take care of [x]." And the beauty of it is that it goes beyond just my circle of friends and colleagues; the meetings on Monday and Tuesday (the worst two days) involved many unfamiliar faces.

I find it embarrassing to be the center of attention, and I hate to be a burden to others, but I think I needed the reminder not to automatically assume that everyone I meet is a self-absorbed, impatient and uncaring (can I say it?) bastard. Many people in DC act in those ways, but CUA is an oasis, and I'm so glad I'm here.

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