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2006-09-04 - 7:53 p.m.

...things coming together....

Another week full of activities. K spent the week watching bandy's cats - I participated part time. Mostly I spent last week engaged in new faculty orientation. I am thoroughly oriented...and fairly exhausted. But the nice feeling is that I've come away feeling like this place really wants its new faculty to be happy and productive. Perhaps the most impressive moment occurred when the dean of our faculty introduced himself. He said that his most defining characteristic is that he has four children who are very important to him. He impressed upon us that this faculty takes family very seriously and wants all of us to feel supported in our efforts to maintain balanced family lives. NEVER in my life have I heard such a value presented to academics. It was a very positive sign that I have come to the right place - a place where both men and women are entitled parental leave - maternity is not equated with sickness.

There were many other points that impressed me - that being said, this is still a university, and a university with strange and cumbersome bureaucracy. and I am still getting used to these things. Furthermore, I find that I still have a bit of the New York mentality. I don't mean to be mean! I am just direct. K has pointed out my rough edges to me several times, which makes me feel rather inadequate at functioning in such a polite culture. The only thing that I know to do to compensate is to make sure that they hear when I really am happy with something. (I used this same tactic in Germany, and they thought I was really strange...who is this person complimenting us?)

Anyway, things seem to be going well - I have straightened up the boxes in the fishbowl at work, and I am getting a handle on all of the things that I still need to do.

This was the long weekend before school commences, and today K and I took a nice bicycle ride from 'The Drive' down and around Stanley Park, over to Granville Island, and back. It was a very relaxed pedal - and for the most part car-free (except for that nasty little bit near Coal Harbour). There is lovely cycling to be had around here, and in spite of nursing a little bit of 'bike butt' I'm feeling pretty good. I think that I will take a small glass of wine with me up the stairs, coax K into a movie, and then turn in early. ah, long weekends.

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