That's right, Katrina swept me away from my cozy home in the Big Easy
El Paso, Texas
Franklin Pierce College in Ruralruralruralruralrural
RINDGE, NEW HAMPSHIRE.
Why? Because my family doesn't have money to give me, and the folks here were very gracious and offered to not only help me with tuition, but also to give me housing, food, books, and winter clothes.
When I arrived in the Manchester airport, I was met by the Provost of the college, two newspaper reporters, and one TV camera. The TV people found me "amable," and followed us from the airport to the college, about a half hour drive. Turns out I got a minute long spot on the local news today. I also did two radio interviews...
I'm famous, probably the New Orleanian in New Hampshire.
It is beautiful here, and I am very very happy to be here, although sometimes I cry and miss my friends and my city.
Thank God I found one small bottle of hot sauce (Tabasco, woo woo!) in the cafeteria.
And, thank God that: I have a great schedule of classes, the kids are pretty intelligent and engaged, and the teachers are working with me, and the housing is good, and the people are sooo nice...
So much for all my stereotypes about Yankees... even as I write two people have come up to me, people from the cafeteria and from class, and asked me how I'm doing and made me feel good about everything.
Within a fifty mile radius of this beautiful campus, Thorton Wilder set Our Town, Thoreau wrote On Walden Pond (one of my favorite works EVER) and RW Emerson composed North of Boston and the very famous "Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I tooked the one less travelled by..."
Yes, I have certainly taken The Road Less Travelled-- we took several, actually, to get to this campus.
This is so different from what I'm used to... there are 1600 kids at this school, and 98% live on campus. The campus has a lake, and there are kayaks and canoes I can borrow like a book from the library. In the winter, the mountain will cover with snow and the lake will freeze, and people are already trying to convince me to ice skate, and to grab a tray from the cafeteria and sled down the mountain with them--hey, that's what they do for fun around here. I guess they do it because KEGS ARE ILLEGAL. WHAT! At Loyola, we SPONSER parties with kegs for seniors-- it comes out of student fees! But I've gotten the downlow-- the key is to bury the keg in the snow, so no one can see it...
WHERE AM I?!?!
I am in Ringe, New Hampshire, embarking on an adventure I would have never imagined for myself. Katrina blows my mind.
If you want to call me, you can try my cell phone... but it might not work because I'm in the middle of the woods and service isn't great. Or you can call 603 899 4100. My extension is 3848.
I refuse to change the posting time from Central to Eastern, just to let you know.