1.) FREE iPad. A colleague had an extra one left over from a grant and guess who benefitted from that. Yours truly (and Patrick by default).
2.) FREE nice dinner. A rep from a medical program came in last week and took all the biology faulty out to dinner (at my favorite restaurant here).
3.) It's very conservative here, which I appreciate for very few reasons. But one of the reasons is that at the faculty dinner not a single drop of alcohol was ordered. This is something new but welcomed to me. Most semi professional/social academic dinners I've attended in the past usually involved my colleagues drinking. We'll see if this occurrence turns into a trend.
4.) Shopping at Wal
Mart in east Texas always provides for some very interesting people watching. In Dallas I avoided Walmart as much as possible, but here choices are very limited, as is my current budget.
5.) Students at my university are the most polite students I've ever worked with. Everything is yes ma'am, no ma'am. And being a smaller school it seems they mostly all want to be here. Also, smaller classes means I can get to know my students better. I nice change from teaching the masses at UNT.
6.) At work I'm surrounded by other transplants to Texarkana. Talking with them and musing over the different culture here is a pleasant relief; to know I'm not alone here feeling a little out of place. I've met another professor whose invited Patrick and I into a group who get together for "cultural interventions". The upcoming meeting is "Indian Summer" dinner party.
We're still getting accustomed to our new town, but it's getting better and a little easier. Church last week was much better than the first week. More and more people are introducing themselves and we had great conversations with other members and our bishop. Everyone seems so happy to have us here. This last Sunday I had tears of joy instead of sadness. Little steps.