Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New England State of Mind


I received a call yesterday afternoon.  The museum director, who've I've talked to several times over the past few weeks, called and said, "We'd like you to join our team."  I was overjoyed.  She wanted me to think it over, but she said that everyone thought I was the perfect person for the job.  I have been thinking it over a lot.  I've prayed about it, and I knew that if this was what was in God's plan for me then it would happen.  I will call later this morning and officially accept the job and begin the process of finding a place to live.

Vermont, here I come.  I've read what a lot of people say about how rural Vermont is, how unfriendly the people are, and how cold the winters will be.  I grew up in a rural area and currently live in a rural area.  I am more comfortable here than in a huge city, but Vermont is also one of the most liberal states in the country.  Also, everyone I met was incredibly friendly.  I realize that I will always be a "flatlander" but I'm ok with that.  No one who ever moves to Alabama would ever be a true Alabamian.  It's part of the culture of the United States.  As for the winters, I realize that they will be brutal, but I also know one thing, I have always loved cold weather.  I hate the heat and humidity of the South.  If there were three things I could change about the South, they'd be: the heat, the politics, and the racism.  All are so ugly and hateful and cause people to be crazy.

So I am beyond excited to be moving.  This is a dream job.  It is doing something I love and am very good at, but it is also something that I never thought I'd have the chance to do.  I may be teaching some, but I also may not be.  We haven't really discussed that.  While I'll be working at a university, I'll be working in the university's museum, not in the classroom.  I'm good with that.  The last five years teaching high school has traumatized me as far as classrooms go, though college students are always better to teach.  The point is, I will be a historian.  I didn't spend all those years in undergrad and grad school studying history not to be a real historian, now that will actually be in my job title.

I'm going to ask today if they will offer a moving compensation package, but since that has not been mentioned, I don't think it is likely, which means that it will take most of my savings to move and get settled.  However, if anyone who reads this has any leads on a place to rent in central Vermont that is affordable, please let me know.  Just send me an email (jec1918@gmail.com).  Any help in this regard would be greatly appreciated.  I'm told that the university's HR department is wonderfully helpful with finding places for people to live, but any additional help would be appreciated too.

My happiness cannot be fully expressed in words.  When I first saw the announcement for this job, I thought I was the right fit.  When I met the staff at the museum, I knew I was the right fit.  I just had to convince them of that, and apparently I did.  I look forward to moving, I look forward to a new life, and I look forward to living openly (again) as a gay man.

Out of all the joy over the job, and the congratulations from family and friends, there was one thing that happened yesterday that will stay in my memory forever.  It something that made me very happy because it was something in all the years of my life, I'd never heard.  I've had many accomplishments, and quite a few failures.  My father never failed to point out those failures.  He's a man who means the words he speaks, but he is not a man who has ever praised his son for a job well done.  He would always say that I could have done better.  Yet yesterday when I called to tell him that I got the job, his response was, "I'm proud of you."  Not once in my life, when I kept a 4.0 GPA though high school and graduated valedictorian, when I graduated college with honors, when I graduated with my master's, or any of the other accomplishments of my life has he ever said he was proud of me, but yesterday he did, and words can't express how that made me feel.  My daddy is proud of me.  I know that may sound childish to be so happy about that, but I've waited nearly thirty-eight years to hear those four words.  Yesterday, I heard them.


I hope you all realize that, while I've had the nickname of "The Professor" for many years now, I won't be in the closet anymore, so my blog title, won't be very accurate.  Hmmmm, any suggestions?

30 comments:

Giac said...

Hello Jo,
Congratulations! I'm very happy it all worked out and wish you all the best. Don't worry about the cold...being from Montreal I can confirm that you will get used it...and the first days of winter snow are magic.
Big hug
Giac

Anonymous said...

Wow! CONGRATS SO MUCH!!!! I know all of us readers are very proud of you!!!! Please keep us posted on how things are going!!!!

-Alan
Chattanooga, TN

mess said...

Yay! Yay! Yay!
Congrats....congrats!!
I love Vermont.... Spent some time at Burke Mt. tracking birds and bats.....
And... I've found people are usually as friendly to you as you are to them.... I'm sure you have a lovely smile....
I'm so happy for you!!!!!
-tess

silvereagle said...

Congrats are in order....to you for landing the job, and to the school for selecting the best man for the position!!! A change in your life from the local environment and work situation is what you need. You opened your eyes to the possibility of moving and changing occupations and the Lord opened the door for you to enter. Now, get some long underwear, some boots, a heavy coat or two and lots of sweaters and be on your way. Perhaps you can find the Bob Newhart Inn from the old TV series and stay there a while!!!

Pack lite in the car, with room for the two cats and a suitcase and head out...get the other 'stuff' later, but do not worry taking it now...Less is more!!!

Michael Dodd said...

Soooooooo happy! And Vermont is beautiful. It will be a whole new life and, I am sure, a great one.

Now we have to hope that the other candidates find positions that will be as good for them as this one is for you.

Susan said...

CONGRATULATIONS, JOE!!! I am bursting with happiness that you got the job you wanted; the one that was "the right fit." What wonderful news on the first day of Fall. There is nothing so fulfilling as having a job you love. I hope it turns out to be everything you want it to be. Good luck and enjoy it all. :-)

As for the new blog title I suggest: The Vermont Professor.

Manuel T. said...

Great news! Congratulations!

dl.miley said...

I am very happy for you. Have been to Vermont and found it very beautiful and full of history. Congratulations on your new position.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! It's an epiphany! (Perhaps you could do a thought piece on that concept?)

Michael Dodd said...

I also had thought Vermont Professor might work as a title. But maybe, and here I am thinking of Lucy's sign on her psychiatrist booth, The Professor Is Out. Or Yellowhammer Up North.

I forgot to mention before that I was thinking of you as I drove back home from the gym this morning, wondering if you had heard the news yet. It was a delight to discover that you had and that the answer was what we had all hoped it would be. You started my day off great! Thanks you!

naturgesetz said...

Yay! and Congratulations!

This is great news, and I'm really happy for you. And what a bonus that your father was finally able to say he's proud of you.

Clothing tip: long underwear, both tops and bottoms. You'll also need hats scarves and gloves. But if you dress warmly, you'll be fine in the Vermont winter.

Driving in snow can be a challenge. The main thing is not to lose traction, so don't accelerate too fast or brake hard (pumping the brakes is often a good idea). Just take it easy.

Anonymous said...

As part of the epiphany, you can with pride change the following in "About Me" "I am a historian (currently unemployed and sometimes college adjunct) who lives in the South" to "I am a historian (working at a museum) who lives in the Northeast". Yay, indeed! And, yes, the best news is your father's words. How and why can parents be so mean to their children? Why don't they accept them as they are, sexual orientation included?

gerryhough said...

Congratulations, You'll get used to the winter weather, everyone does. We're in upstate New York.

My wife is a graduate of Middlebury College and we have lots of friends all over the state. It's a great place. Warm clothes and layers (Vermont Country Store is a great source)are the answer to make winter weather fun and a pleasure.

Pack light for house hunting and get up there to start looking.

Gerry

JiEL said...

OMG!

Congratulations and I'm SURE that you'll love that NEW LIFE...

Maybe some weather will be a bit cold but I'm sure that the warmth of the people of Vermont will take care of your heart...

Funny twist of Destiny, yesterday, I had a contact with a 49yo man, David, from Burlington who is interested to meet me. He often comes to Montreal to visit a good friend of his.

Now, the moment is of celebrating YOUR BIG NEWS.
Hope that they could help you to relocate but, no matter what, this is a move that will be the most positive in your life..

You'll be able to get out of your closet for sure..
To change the name of your blog I'd suggest to name it:"The Liberated Professor".
Or maybe:"The Freedom Professor"...

You made my day and all my best wishes my friend.

JiEL said...

Forgot to mention as natugesetz has recommandations...

Be sure to have some «snow tires» on you car to have a better traction in winter weather..

Here, in Province de Québec, they're obligatory from Dec. 15 to March 15...
I'll get mine installed on my car on Dec 2..

For the rest, you'll easily ajust to all Vermont's specificity.

Nikki said...

Oh My God! I have been checking the site every day and keeping my fingers crossed and sending positive thoughts out to the central HR department of the Universe. I am so happy for you!

Andrew Weiss said...

I am so happy for you and proud as well! I knew your knowledge, personality and intellect would not go unappreciated and that you would eventually land on your feet.

Yes, the climate change for you is going to get some getting used to, but the Autumns there are beautiful, the snow in wintertime is beautiful and the summers are incredibly nice as well.

Not to mention the political climate! Vermont used to be one of the most conservative states, but now it is one of the most liberal. A MUCH better place for a gay guy.

So losing that job where you were not fully appreciated might very well turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Best wishes going forward!

Chris said...

Delighted at your news! This is the first place I have ever heard that Vermonters are unfriendly. My experience is to the contrary. It's very different from Boston. Central Vermont has some interesting spots, such as the Joseph Smith memorial at South Royalton.

Amanda said...

Wow! That's fantastic Joe! There's so much to say but Congratulations is the main thing! I knew you'd rock it. And the fact your dad said he's proud is the best reaction yet. I'm jealous of the New Enland fall you'll get to see. I can't wait to hear all about your journey. Enjoy it , you deserve it! ((Hugs))

Amanda said...

Michael, I just wanted to say I always enjoy your comments. How sweet and thoughtful of you to think of the other candidates too. So awesome. Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Congrats! Sharing your happiness! And a little bit envious of you, who will be able to be out at work...

A reader from Ottawa
(not that far from Vermont)

Brother Doc said...

This is great news! I don't think you will ever regret the move. The fresh air of the New England temperament and character of mind will blow away the damp suspiciousness of the deep south, which has been weighing on your soul. Yes, the climate will be bitter a good part of the year but winters bring out the best in the New England can-do spirit. Believe me you will make lasting and loyal friends once you get used to the Yankee reserve. Speak slowly. Listen for the dry wit and understated sense of Yankee humor. We will be looking forward to reading your reports of culture shock! But I know you will do brilliantly. Congratulations!

mistress maddie said...

Congrats!!!!!!!! Your going to love Vermont!!!! And just think about all the new adventures you'll have. Plus you will be close to other cool cities big and small to explore. What great news!!!!!

Marsha said...

*C*O*N*G*R*A*T*U*L*A*T*I*O*N*S*!!!!! I'm just thrilled for you!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I have to confess to having said more than a few prayers that you would get this job, because you were saying that it would be God willing, and I wanted to be sure God heard at every opportunity. You deserve it! And I think you will love joining us up here in the north (OK, I am not THAT far north, but NJ certainly counts). You should feel instantly at home, even if you still have a part of your heart down south, because you will be among people who share your worldview.

Mike said...

Southerner in a Northern State?

Congratulations!!! I'm so excited for you!!! Can't wait to hear your adventures and things you are up to at the museum.

rjjs8878 said...

Two times in my life I relocated for a new job to a city where I didn’t know anyone. Each time it was an adventure. I was able to build a good base of friends. I’m sure you’ll do the same. The one time I was in Vermont I found the people warm and friendly. Have fun!

doreus said...

I am very glad all that hard work searching for employment paid off, and it seems it did so in the best of ways. Best of success in Vermont! From a Canadian point of view, you're still far in the south... but it will be an adaptation. I had to move across the continent a few years ago for a tenure-track position and have never regretted it.
Stéphane, a fellow historian.

Paul said...

Congrats and best wishes. Sure, in general you won't find the folks in Vermont as friendly as in Alabama, but there are so many other things on offer.

And don't sell yourself short about a relocation package - or take all the advice and pack light till you find a place.

Blobby said...

very cool. (no pun intended.) congrats. I've been to Burlington and St. Albans - and I like it there.