Well, I’m back from UMW’s Faculty Academy.1 This was my second year participating/helping out/laughing at Jim Groom, and the best yet. After two inspiring days with some of my favorite people in the world, I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. Highlights included one of the most incredible keynotes I’ve ever seen, courtesy of James Boyle2, great discussions on the twitter backchannel, and Jim getting his ass kicked by John St. Clair in a mock debate.
I could go on for days about the fantastic presentations, creative faculty, and stimulating atmosphere at Faculty Academy, but instead I’m going to give a little love to my DTLT family, who put in an enormous amount of work and effort to make this event as spectacular as it was. My last day as a DTLT student aide was 17 days ago, but I still wake up every morning ready to head back to the office in Dupont. And then I realize that I’m not at UMW anymore. Graduation was easy; leaving my professors and co-workers behind was not.
I won’t get to walk into the office today and see Patrick waving from behind his desk, or Andy gushing over the latest Apple product.3 I won’t see Jim‘s feet next to the plastic bobblehead dolls on his desk as he reclines, eating chips and blogging his fifteenth daily post on the Bava. I won’t be able to make contentious statements about 80’s music to Jerry just to get into another debate, hear Martha nagging us about blog posts on Stuff for Starving Students, or plotting planning projects with Shannon.
Working at DTLT has been one of the most important experiences of my life. Looking forward to work, I’m told, is a pretty rare thing. I also know that a group of people as creative and brilliant as Jerry, Martha, Andy, Patrick, and Jim is hard to come by. I know the professors value them, and I sure hope the university does too. If UMW is smart, it’ll keep them forever.4 I wish I could keep them forever.
And, of course, no mention of DTLT would be complete without a shout-out to Gardner Campbell, who taught me about obsession and flow, invited me to all-night Milton readings, sang Beatles songs with me, introduced me to Errol Morris, and continues to inspire me all the way from Texas. I hope I’ll always be your student.
In conclusion, I really miss you all.