I have been on a Daily Prompt kick recently, and today is no exception: Go to the nearest window. Look out for a full minute. Write about what you saw.
Everyday I go to work on a campus that looks very similar to a park located not far from my house. Lots of hills, mature trees, grass holding on as long as it can during the winter and seasonal blooms (pansies and violas).
First thing in the morning, it is a serene scene from my office. Today I have the blue sky framing three buildings surrounding the small former residence that houses my office. I can see two dormitories and the main academic hall for the Math, Foreign Language and Linguistics departments. The only person I see now is an employee, wearing gloves and a hat to ward off the morning chill while operating a leaf blower. Not that he is making much progress, the leaves are still damp from the icy rain that came through the area this time yesterday.
Soon though, this all will change and the students will gather on the campus to go to and from their classes. Like a flock of birds, they will leave the various dorms or academic halls to criss-cross across campus in various states of dress. Some bundled up for the weather, others appearing to risk pneumonia. All in a range of colors ranging from the color of the now frost-burned grass to neon.
I am coming up on my first year anniversary working here. This is my first real exposure to the experience of campus life, having never worked for or attended any institution of higher education before in my almost 36 years here on earth. The energy here is different, even if you can’t always tell by looking out the window. Faces change each semester. Barren trees bloom and become the perfect places to study underneath on a mild day. Students and staff cheer for the teams, hold rallies, stage fundraisers and other events to bring together the campus spirit.
When I started here, I was in a very bad place in my life, having come from a job where I was going to have to be admitted to the hospital if I stayed any longer. I was grateful for this opportunity when the offer came through, but worried that this whole “new world” of higher ed would be harder for me to grasp and put me back in a similar situation to the one I was leaving. So far, so good though, and I am still happy to be here. Sure, I could do with a shorter commute, but plenty of people go through that every day to do what they need to to survive. I like to think here that I am not just surviving, but thriving.
So I will take one more look out my window before going back to staring at my monitor to remind myself that not all work environments have to have stodgy neutral walls or be set in the middle of a concrete block in the big city to be productive or offer opportunities. And even though I am fairly sure the employees in those downtown high rises don’t have to deal with loud leaf blowers or dormitory alarms going off all day long, necessitating my need for a Costco-sized bottle of ibuprofen at my desk, those are small prices to pay to be here.
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