Skip to main content

Moving. Again.

I started this blog back in 2007 sitting on an empty floor, in an empty living room in Albany, CA, my laptop perched on a cardboard box filled with our stuff. I started writing this blog to distract me from the sadness of leaving. I was mourning because of what I was leaving behind. I even knew that the things I was leaving---classmates, student housing, my Campbell Hall office---weren't permanent. My friends were moving on, too. Heck, my office was about to be torn down. Berkeley, CA was going to move on even if I didn't. I knew this. But it didn't make it less sad. So I started writing, and I haven't stopped.

And here we are again. Another house full of moving boxes. But this time I'm not mourning alone. It hit Owen, too. Owen found an artifact of our old familiar life, one of the old blankets that used to be a permanent fixture of our couch, lying on the floor of the closet. We sat together in the darkness on the blanket, and we cried, together. We cried for the friends we're leaving behind. We cried for the familiar life that will now change. We cried because, as Owen put it, our house feels so empty and it all feels like it's happening too soon.

But it's time to go. A nice couple made an offer on our house Sunday, we countered, and they accepted. It's their house now and it's time for the Johnsons to start anew in our house that's waiting for us in Cambridgeport. It's time to start my new job, make new discoveries, start the year at a new school for the boys, plant new roots, and Erin to restart her career. Also, because it's academia, there are friends there, from Berkeley even!

It's too soon, but at the same time, too long in coming. We've known about this day for a long time now. Jeez, since April. So while it feels too soon, it's also just about time.



Comments

Amy P said…
Hugs to you and Owen and Erin and Marcus. Enjoy your epic road trip and the time together. Safe travels to you all. Since the trip falls between Owen and Marcus's birthdays, I imagine they truly will get to celebrate birth-month with all the friends you visit along the way. I'm so excited for you to stop in the Quad Cities on your journey.
Leah Bennett said…
Beautiful. Moving is always so bittersweet... as are most things in life I suppose. Hope you are settling in a little in your new place!

Popular posts from this blog

An annual note to all the (NSF) haters

It's that time of year again: students have recently been notified about whether they received the prestigious NSF Graduate Student Research Fellowship. Known in the STEM community as "The NSF," the fellowship provides a student with three years of graduate school tuition and stipend, with the latter typically 5-10% above the standard institutional support for first- and second-year students. It's a sweet deal, and a real accellerant for young students to get their research career humming along smoothly because they don't need to restrict themselves to only advisors who have funding: the students fund themselves!
This is also the time of year that many a white dude executes what I call the "academic soccer flop." It looks kinda like this:


It typically sounds like this: "Congrats! Of course it's easier for you to win the NSF because you're, you know, the right demographic." Or worse: "She only won because she's Hispanic."…

Culture: Made Fresh Daily

There are two inspirations for this essay worth noting. The first is an impromptu talk I gave to the board of trustees at Thatcher School while I was visiting in October as an Anacapa Fellow. Spending time on this remarkable campus interacting with the students, faculty and staff helped solidify my notions about how culture can be intentionally created. The second source is Beam Times and Lifetimes by Sharon Tarweek, an in-depth exploration of the culture of particle physics told by an anthropologist embedded at SLAC for two decades. It's a fascinating look at the strange practices and norms that scientists take for granted.
One of the stories that scientists tell themselves, whether implicitly or explicitly, is that science exists outside of and independent of society. A corollary of this notion is that if a scientific subfield has a culture, e.g. the culture of astronomy vs. the culture of chemistry, that culture is essential rather than constructed. That is to say, scientific c…

The Bright Line is not Monotonic

The anthology of myths commonly known as America rests upon the notion that history is linear. In the past people in this country ignorantly did bad things to other people. But thanks to the passage of time, we can now "let the past to be the past," because today we live in a time when things have gotten much better. Furthermore, any problem that our society faces in the present will inevitably be solved as "the old guard" dies off and a new generation of better people takes their place. 
Of course this story isn't told so simply or explicitly. But the assumption lurks beneath the other stories we, as Americans, tell ourselves and each other. The myth certainly undergirds the notion that racism is a thing of the past, and that today we inhabit a "post-racial" world in which all people, regardless of race have equal access to betterment, dignity and happiness. We are lulled into beliving that at some point in the mid to late 1960's, a wise reveren…