I am. In NCSU years. (okay, I’m actually 17 and a half if you count the undergraduate days — but those don’t really count).
I’m not what the rule of thumb is for NCSU < = > real life years. I mean, there’s the state worker’s creed (“I was here when you got here, I’ll be here when you leave”). So maybe 12 is just a drop in the bucket in that context, but most days it feels like I’ve lived a life or two during that time. And maybe I have.
I honestly wondered two years ago whether I’d make it to eleven. There’s been some changes externally that made things more bearable. But maybe more, there’s been changes internally that made it easier to bear (or easier for others to bear with me).
I still haven’t quite yet found Zihuatenejo — and sometimes it still feels like it did at three days to two years.
But you know, it’s a good place. With good people.
I’m still learning. Maybe even I’m doing a little teaching.
I’m thinking more about those libraries and those chess pieces. I’m excited again about watching and interacting with colleagues across campus and across the nation. Twelve years (and 35) gives me the confidence to realize that that on a day or two, I do know what I’m doing — and more importantly on all the other days, to realize when I haven’t the foggiest — but the confidence that I’ll figure it out — or can find colleagues that can.
It’s not Zihuatenejo — it’s probably not even on the border on blank postcard from Fort Hancock, Texas. But I’m on the bus, I think.
And all in all, that’s a good place to be. It’ll be fun to see what Thirteen will bring.