Incoming Hamline students, if you’re nervous about the upcoming residency, at least one Hamline faculty member has pre-residency jitters, too — ME.
Despite forty-plus years of professional writing, speeches, author school visits, national and international reading and writing conferences, storytelling festival presentations, church communion — I still get the heebie jeebies.
I start to tremble as soon as our dear director Mary Rockcastle sends out her call for our lecture and workshop titles. This summer’s focus is on character.
Oh Lawd, do remember me and character!
What to pack??? Checked luggage is limited to 50 pounds. I used to laugh at the thought that I could pack 50 pounds of anything to take airborne until I began packing books and student manuscripts. 50 pounds right there! Which laptop to bring? Why bring one at all? Eleanora, didn’t you finish your lecture at home? What about a thumb drive? Which one? The 4, 8 or 16 gig? The 50 gig? Which files to bring? Will my spider solitaire game fit on a thumb drive?
Oh Lawd, do remember me, lectures and workshopping!
What else to pack: my blue, green and black suits? Or just the skirts? Which shoes, socks, nylons, long underwear, boots? No, scratch long underwear and boots. This is July, not January. My sexy red blouse? (For whose eyes, for goodness sakes??) Scratch the red blouse. Which slacks, jeans, and shorts? What to wear for my reading? For my lecture? For graduation? Which pajamas? Which medicines to bring? Do I dare take my teddy bear this time?
Oh Lawd, do remember me, clothes and meds!
What and where to eat while I’m there? Salads? Breakfast? The dining hall? The corner gas station? That little sandwich shop? Or just stock up on chocolate?
Oh Lawd, do remember us all. Take heart, nervous students. You’re not alone. Your fears — and hopefully mine — will leave as soon as you hit campus! Welcome to Hamline!
ELEANORA E. TATE is a children’s book author who has won numerous awards, including a CBC/NCSS Notable Childrení s Trade Book in the field of social studies for Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.! and a Parent’s Choice Gold Seal Award for The Secret of Gumbo Grove.
Eleanora is retired from Hamline’s faculty.