Back from New City. I have signed a lease on a fantastically expensive apartment in New SLAC Town, and now I'm not sure what the hell I was thinking, except it is walking distance to campus, and the other places I liked were all in New City, some thirty miles away. I'm a nervous driver and I just wasn't feeling the love for sprawling suburbia, which pretty much describes all the places in between. New SLAC Town itself is cute. Sleepy, and a little heavy on the antique shops and light on useful businesses, but cute.
New SLAC has a pretty and historic campus, which makes me happy. Both the University of Basketball and my undergraduate institution also have pretty and historic campuses, so this is an essential ingredient in my vision of How A College Ought To Be. There are no crape myrtles at New SLAC -- I think it gets too cold in the winter there, and this makes me sad because crape myrtles, too, are part of How A College Ought To Be. I think the beginning of a new academic year deserves to be ushered in with fuchsia and hot pink and lilac. There are, however, plenty of other trees, and one of them is right outside of my first-floor office. I have always wanted a tree, ever since I was a junior in college and decided that I wanted to be a professor. Something about the thought of watching it change with the autumn and winter and spring, year after year, is very appealing. You don't want to get too attached to your tree if you are a visiting assistant professor. I need to remember that.
By and large, a good visit, even though I smashed up a rental car on the first day of it and have to deal with a bewildering morass of insurance claims. Ouch.