We are now on semester break! All grades have been turned in, Elon's graduation was a little over a week ago, and course evaluation results have been received. After our crazy Spring 2013 semester, Ben and I are enjoying this different speed of life. To be clear, we do still have work to do (he has a couple summer research students and I have a couple manuscripts to submit for publication), but there is no day-to-day class prep, which makes a HUGE difference. We were all able to get out of town for a few days last week and we are looking forward to hanging out at the Evans family farm for a few days next month. So yes, we are in easy living mode for a while, and most definitely enjoying it.
With end of an academic year and the beginning of summer also brings about the possibility of transitions and new beginnings. Personally, I am leaving UNC to take a 1 year adjunct position at Elon starting in the fall. I am excited about going to work at Elon every day and getting to know the students and the department even better, but after spending 7 years at UNC, it will be a bit sad to not see those colleagues on a regular basis. Ben will be submitting his tenure application later this summer to hopefully make the transition from assistant to associate professor in about a year. We just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last week, so now we are transitioning to our second decade of marriage (seriously, are we really old enough to have been married for 10 years???!!!). Ally is learning how to read and Amelia is on the verge of walking by herself. So even our girls are embarking on transitions and new beginnings, which is a lot of fun to watch.
At the same time, we are observing our friends go through similar transitions and new beginnings. One tough part of living in a university town is that a lot of friends come and go. We have lived here for almost 10 years, and we have seen a lot of people move to and away from here. This summer, two of our closest couple friends are moving away; our friends the Casads who we've known since 2006 and our friends the Hubbs-Keoghs who we've known since 1999 (we went to college together and then moved here together). They will most certainly have huge transitions in front of them: new cities, new jobs, new church homes, and making new friends. For those of us back here, we must transition too, to maintaining these existing friendships long-distance and to not be afraid to go out and make new friends. Luckily for the former, email, blogs, and Facebook make it much easier than before.
So here's to transitions and new beginnings, to the excitement of the unknown, and to staying open to new possibilities!