Archive for September, 2011

My new school

Posted: September 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Sorry about the silence, getting started on my new job has taken a lot of energy and time. I am happily installed at Buckingham Browne and Nichols in Cambridge, across the street from Harvard. I have also been recruited to be on the coaching staff for the Girls Varsity Soccer team – GO KNIGHTS! and to start a Spanish Exchange program with a Spanish school. So as you can see I have a very good excuse for my silence.

Here is the link introducing me (and my cohort) to the school: http://www.bbns.org/link/aug-2011/talented-new-faculty-and-staff-join-bbn-community

Enjoy!

Rocinante got washed!

Posted: September 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

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Rocinante finally got washed. Fortunately I have a hose outside my building, so it was great, but also a little sad to get over 5000 miles worth of road grime off of her. She even got waxed. Not the most thorough waxing job, but better than nothing. Rocinante is adjusting to a 5 mile commute from home to school after her epic trip, but it’s better than not riding. We are also making the most of enjoying the New England golden autumn days, before going into hibernation.

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Dear Mark, Jenny, Spencer, the Moons, Quill, Ilya, David, Finn, Pulgas and Wasabi, Lisie, and Catherine,

Opening your home and giving your time to a tired, weary, and poor traveler is one of the highest forms of charity. You all did that for me selflessly, generously and graciously. You made my trip. Sharing your home, Broadway tickets, your food (including leftover Thai food), your beer and old books (David), your knowledge, and your time, made me feel welcome and more importantly, loved, something I badly need in this time of solitude.

Needless to say that my trip without you would have been lacking, empty, and despite the heat, much colder.

You cannot imagine how happy I am to have you as my friends, despite the many different roads that brought us together. There are old friends from university, and from work, family, and old students. You are all wonderful, and I love you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Antonio

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It has been two weeks since my trip concluded and yes I had to start school right away, but I have also spent this time reflecting and digesting my trip.

There are several aspects to the trip that I might have to break down into different posts: the trip itself, the university visits, the spiritual trip, etc.

The trip itself was mind blowing. Sitting in our cozy, provincial little corner in New England we don’t know or we forget how great, literally this country is. I was constantly in awe of the endless fields, the huge rivers, one after the other, the interminable trains, the thousands of eighteen wheelers, the miles and miles and miles of roads. The singular beauty of each state. The fact that I could visit eleven universities that offer a PhD in Spanish Literature is awesome.

But that is mostly geographic. More importantly was all the people I met. Everybody was genuinely nice, polite and friendly. Even people that might have been a little defensive or insecure quickly warmed up when I told them of my trip. One of the better examples was in Texas when I walked into a lunch place. I asked if I could have lunch and if we were on such and such road. A couple of tough cowboys in the back of the room asked where I was headin’. When I answered Arkansas, hundreds of miles away, their tone quickly changed and they became very helpful. Later that night at a bar near Texarkana another tough old cowboy asked thteateningly “You ain’t from ’round here are you?” Minutes later he was buying me drinks!

That is not to say I did not have any bad encounters. Unfortunately both in Nashville (if I had to listen to bad country music all the time I might turn into a sourpuss too). One with a rude parking valet at a hotel and the other one with a rude (he might have been stoned, or drunk, or both), motel receptionist.

But those two where the exceptions, I had great conversations, and met interesting people pretty much everywhere I stopped and met someone: gas stations, welcome centers, universities, hotels, motels, shops, everywhere. Those people are the real find of the trip.