One of the decisions that I made 6 months ago when I decided to take this job was to “go all in.” I wanted to give myself up to Mississippi, and see what would happen – where it would take me.
I’ve just passed the month mark – and while I can’t say I’d live here forever, I’m not looking to live someplace else just yet. There is something about Mississippi that pulls you in – today in class I told students that we have to understand the intersections of past and present (talking about a novel, but it works in the day to day as well). My mom visited over Labor Day, and in addition to making my house into a home, we travelled the state. South to Port Gibson to the Windsor Ruins, then onto Vicksburg for the National Military Park, to Corinth and its crossroads, and over to the Delta… with side trips to Arkansas and Alabama just for fun.
There are things I don’t like about Oxford, but there is a love of the American South that overrides the unreliable bus system, the bad service at most restaurants, and the otherwise superficial aspects that get on my nerves. While I like my beautiful white shoes, in a way, I like that tradition and custom require they go to the back of the closet until the late spring. I like that the history of the south is one that I don’t know, forcing me to reassess what I’ve learned and better understand where we’re going.