My Tupelo colleagues (and friends, lucky me) and I are embarking on a new research study and we finally were able to begin today. We were waiting on our approval from the Institutional Review Board to adapt the proposal I had approved last year. It was not funded :( but I still wanted to do the research and it really is not much money due to the fact that it is survey and interview of students, so we are talking a little gas money, copy costs, and eating lunch in Tupelo about 4 times this semester. I give props to my friend and colleague Sherry, who helped me write the grant proposal a year ago when we hoped it would be funded.
It takes all of an hour to drive to Tupelo from Oxford, and then another 10 minutes to get to the campus and in the building. I needed to make the copies of the instruments as our copy machine was ailing yesterday of all days. No problem--I got up at 6:15 so I could leave in plenty of time. Of course, that was not counting on a couple of things.
J needed the shower and the car as he had somewhere to be this morning. (Side note: our jacuzzi should be in this next week and I can begin to rebuild the second bathroom, thank goodness.) No problem--I still had plenty of time, and I had to work on the revisions of the MSW class I am teaching. Our second benchmark for the Council on Social Work Education initial accreditation is coming up and the report has to go to the printers today so our chair can get it in the mail tomorrow. I thought I had about 10-15 minutes left of work to do on the revision.
I was wrong. I finished at 9:24, emailed it to the chair, and headed for the shower. I needed to leave at 10 to have enough time. At 10, I was in a sarong with wet hair and no make up. I started printing the copies thinking at least I could cut out that time needed, and never got dressed, hair dried and make up on so fast. In fact, I beat the copies. Of all times to have a state of the art Photograph quality copier--which was taking forfreakingever!
I ran out the door (in the rain and 36 degrees) at 10:38. Let's just say that I was able to get behind my friend the truck driver and while I am not one to flaunt fate, I was in Tupelo at 11:25. There is no way to speed up those 10 minutes it takes to get from the highway to the campus--at least no way I am willing to do--so I ran into the building and up those two flights of stairs as fast as I could. Pete was pacing outside, and ushered me into the classroom and introduced me. I was so short of breath, I could hardly talk, but thanked them graciously for waiting for me and began to pass out the information and explain--between gasps for air, that is. The last 5 minutes, I was actually able to speak calmly in a normal voice, being able to breathe again by that point.
Afterwards, my colleagues/friends and I went to a nearby Chinese restaurant for lunch. It was a perfect day for wonton soup, hot tea and moo goo gui pan, to talk about the project, and to catch up on what is happening with each of us in terms of our professional endeavors. One friend is off to Phoenix, one off to Florida, and one off to England and Scotland next week; me, I will be in the little cottage on the hill in Taylor, but that sounds wonderful to me right now.
After meeting with the second class at 2:30, I headed home. The phone rang just as I got to the turn off to Elvis' place--I had intended to swing by and say howdy, how you doin'? but got sidetracked with Jill saying a student had a question about the research. That's okay--Elvis knows I love him. After a much more leisurely and relaxed drive back to Oxford, I stopped at the grocery store for dinner fixings and headed on to my little hill. As I was unloading the car, Woody Woodpecker was having a snack on the dead pine tree next to my car (last summer's hurricane force winds took care of its few remaining years).
After stowing the groceries, I got the camera and sneaked out to see if I could catch Woody in the act. Alas, he was a clever little thing. As soon as I got within camera distance, he would hop around to the back side of the tree so I could not see him. Wait...wait...wait...he would come back to his spot...I would aim the camera and focus....he would hop out of sight...after about 3 times of this, he flew off, so I gave it up. I fed the birds (the ones who depend on me for food--at least some of the time), and the squirrels and deer, and then let my doggies out for a little back yard run.
It was just a perfect day.