Knoxville, and specifically UT's campus, officially freak me out. They are huge places, and I'm not used to navigating the one-way streets, the turnpikes that turn to wide thoroughfares, that turn to alley ways, the rude drivers. It's overwhelming, really, navigating Knoxville. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it the more places I go. Certainly, though, I'd rather drive in Conway or Horn Lake any day.
Yesterday I was a bit freaked out by all the workshops I sat in on. We were busy with orientation from 8 am to 7 pm. I met some interesting and nice people, and some not so nice people, and I questioned whether or not I'm motivated enough to do this whole grad school thing. I want a master's degree so I can further develop my knowledge and understanding of language and literature and better serve my future, potentially high school, students. That's it. But when the English grad faculty gave us a panel discussion about our new responsibilities as scholars and cultural historians, I began to feel as if I've made a mistake in coming here. I don't want to be a scholar. I don't want to publish books about dead white poets. I don't even want to profess at a university, at least not at this point. I just want to be a good education and teach some kids a little bit about literature and writing an essay, but even more about living with dignity and compassion.
I miss home. I miss my friends. I miss my family. But I'm not giving up hope that this place can offer me friends who will become like family and be home to me. And hey, the instructor I'm assisting in comp this semester is a nice woman who is originally from Mississippi, like me. So that's cool.
I'm off to wait for the cable guy!