Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Refreshed and back again...

Definitely refreshed!

Not so sure about the back again bit though. My body is here but...

Hope you all had a real nice holiday. I sure did. Last year, Christmas was a bit of a rush. I'd just come back from studying in the U.S. (Texas, Fort Worth) and there was little time to prepare for the festivities. Then it dawned on me that my 'ladz' (at least the two left in England - The other one's in Chicago and married now), were getting all grow'd up and that I didn't need to be quite so maticulous with the preparations . . . nor the amount of expenditure I put into the whole thing!

All in all, it turned out to be a really great Christmas despite the rush. This year though was even better. Despite the time that I had to prepare, I did everything at the last minute . . but trust me I didn't rush. I took it reeeaaal easy and enjoyed every minute of it. I love buying presents. There's nothin quite like the look on someone's face when you get just the right thing for them, or when you produce something totally strange and unexpected. My son Matthew bought me a DVD of every music video Peter Gabriel (one of my particular favourites - cerebral music apparantly, or so I'm told) has ever done. It was certainly a surprise, totally unexpected and bloomin marvelous t'boot!

Well you will be pleased to hear that I am officially a very 'sad' person. Off and on throughout the holiday I kept thinking back to my new job here in the Development Office (by the way it's official, I am now formally a member of the Development staff, after 'winning' the interview just before Christmas - Don't all cheer at once now will you!?). I think I've said it before but I really do love this work. After a lifetime of working, in effect to do nothing more than make others rich, it feels that at last I have hit upon something that has what I feel to be inherent value; You know, something just GOOD; Like, what could be more valuable than opening the human mind to learning and intellectual discovery and of developing at place wherein this can happen? I do believe that the more of a true community this place becomes the greater and more fulfilling will be that learning.

Forth Worth? Oh yes I remember it so well. The University was the hub of the area. Surrounded by businesses and enterprise as well as residential property. It was like everyone in the area had a stake in the University as an essential component of the life of the whole community. Do you believe it but as you approached the university from the outside you knew you were within its domain as far out as 3 or 4 miles before you got there! There were banners strung from lamposts, shops welcoming back the students, houses with placards on their lawns and a whole host of other 'signposts' guiding you inward towards the campus. Students travelled free on the buses and discounts galore were offered in the surrounding shops and other businesses and amenities in the immediate area. You gotta give it to the Americans (and Texans in particular) for all their faults they do know a bit about community and how to at least try and hold it all together.

This afternoon I am going to do (or begin to do) a survey of the area and find out what exists in the immediate vacinity of our own campus; Find out what there is out there to work with and at least begin to explore its possibilities. Who knows where it will lead? It's a beginning and its a process, and what better time to do it than at the beginning of a New Year. . .

Happy New Year Everyone, I hope it turns out to be a good one!

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