Sunday, 25 July 2010

Dream job

I am in Roanoke, Virginia, because it is the home of Hollins University which is the home of the famous Children's Literature Program that I have heard so much about and have finally been invited to, which is a great honour. Moreover, I am not invited to teach on the program, but just be around in case some student wants to talk to me. I gave a talk yesterday at a student-run conference, and this morning I met some of the students - incredibly, ten o'clock on a Sunday morning. Their dedication to children's literature is beyond imagination: it's three in the afternoon now, and I have just come home.

Home is Barbie house - sorry, Barbee House, and I have a suite with two bedrooms and a lounge, a little pentry and access to a larger pentry on the ground floor. This morning I did something I had never done before: boiled an egg in a microwave. Apparently, Hollins' guests are not expected to be cooks. There is a micro and a coffee machine and a toaster, but no cooker. Yesterday when I was taken to get groceries I was reminded of the American proportions: you cannot get a pint of orange juice, it has to be a gallon. I am not sure I will consume a gallon of juice in a week. I did find a pint of milk. Everything in the store was lite and low fat and no fat. Nothing for us LCHF people. But then I have been stuffing myself with bagels the past five days.

It is not the first time I live on an American campus without a car. When I was in Amherst it took me three days to realise that I didn't want to be dependent on a colleague's wife to take me shopping, so I bought a car. The year before we lived in San Diego, I went there for a short visit and stayed in a campus guest house. At least they had a convenience store nearby, but the guest room had no desk.

This apartment here has no desk either. Presumably, I am supposed to work in the office. I have an office and a pigeonhole! I feel important.

It's unbearably hot, and much as I would like to go for a walk I don't think I am going to. So I'll make use of this privilege of being left to myself and perhaps catch up with my blog.


anton said...

hotter than new york?

Maria Nikolajeva said...

Yes, can you imagine?