In mid-March I got an email telling me I was nominated in the search for a senior leadership position at Virginia Commonwealth University: Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success. I was intrigued. I looked at the leadership profile. I was mightily interested. Can’t hurt to apply, I said to myself. So I did.
The hectic, rewarding pace of life went on. Janet Murray came to VT as the third Distinguished Innovator in Residence. (Very exciting.) The Center for Innovation in Learning prepared its first call for Innovation Grant proposals. (Ditto above.) Learning Technologies began its metamorphosis into Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies. I traveled to Richmond, Boston, Bethlehem (Pennsylvania), and in June, to Rome (Italy) for conference presentations and faculty seminars. And to my wonder and delight, my candidacy continued to advance in the VCU search.
On June 7, as I sat in my lodgings in Barcelona, I spoke with VCU’s Provost, Dr. Beverly Warren, who offered me the job. As a literature scholar, it is my duty of course to tell you that the last time I was in Barcelona, in October of 2010, I was offered the Virginia Tech job. I guess Barcelona is my lucky town in the narrative of my professional life. (No one who’s been there will be in the least surprised.)
On June 24, back in the States, I signed the contract.
On August 1, I formally began my work, though I’d been ramping up at VCU and ramping down at VT since my return to the US. On this same day, my wife and I closed on our new home in Richmond.
Oh, and the conference in Rome was wonderful, far beyond my already-high expectations. The city and country were also pretty stupendous (litotes alert). As was Spain the week before, as was England the week before that. A summer of summers.
And sadly, the cloud over the trip was the death of my beloved mother-in-law on the same day that her youngest daughter, my wife, arrived in Madrid to join me in my travels. That grieving continues. If my experience with my parents at their passing is any guide, one learns to live with death, but one never gets over it.
I guess I’m a little behind in my blogging. Perhaps you can see why? The problem seems to be time, but it isn’t really. Time has become extremely compressed, yes, and spare time has become a vanishing commodity. My perception of time many days borders on the surreal as I adjust to the scale, scope, pace, and challenges of the new job–all very exciting, all very welcome, and all very demanding. Yet the real problem is, as ever, too much to say.
Time to write anyway. Not that I’ve been idle in that department, but I have been silent in this space, and I miss it. I did get 6000+ words done in an article on temptation in Paradise Lost, however–turns out I miss that kind of writing, too. Yes, Gardner writes, even if you haven’t seen it here for several months. Time to write anyway.