Thursday, October 11, 2007

to new jersey and back to texas

madison, new jersey is beautiful. here's their train station.
here's the main building at drew university, where i did my doctoral work.
here's what the rest of the area looks like

it's a freakin' norman rockwell painting.

so, i went for 3 days this week to go advise/help/work with doctoral students who are doing their projects and dissertations over the next year and a half. they are brave and great. they are from south carolina, las vegas, new jersey, canada, pennsylvania - all over. and i had a blast.

except driving through newark, new jersey, to and from the airport. i'm sure newark has beautiful places in it, but it wasn't pretty where i was. and the enterprise car rental facility was off-site from the newark airport, which is a total pain in the ass.
this is what houses in the part of newark i drove through looked like:

eek.
i stayed at the college of saint elizabeth, where we had our meetings, just down the street from drew u. we were in the xavier center, which is a conference center/convent/meeting hall/dorm. my room had no a/c, bare walls except for a gold crucifix, a desk fan, a desk lamp, a little chair, a big chair, an open window, no bathroom, a single bed, a chest-of-drawers, a mirror. a little closet. it was truly odd. we drewids ate with about sixty nuns. it was extremely quiet. across from the front door is the convent cemetary, where dozens of nuns are buried. it was ... quiet.
i felt quite out of place. so i'd get in my rent car and turn up very loud music and drive to starbux to compensate.
i know, why would a spiritual giant like me not drink in the silence and peace? because sometimes that much silence and peace is just too hard for me to take. and i missed my home and family.
after about 9 hours on planes, i walked into the beautiful austin airport and heard alt-country music playing and folks laughing (people in the newark airport don't laugh) and just breathed in home.
the part of new jersey i was in is truly beautiful.
but it ain't AUSTIN TEXAS.

4 comments:

nonprofitprophet said...

glad you're back safe. Nope, Texas it ain't. People don't brag about being from jersey dude.

journeyingrick said...

HA! you damn right!

I dunno - do they?
somebody ought to tell the rest of the country how beautiful that part of New Jersey is ... i never had for a moment thought about traveling there just to see it. it's gorgeous.

but it aint TEXAS!!!

Anonymous said...

Actually most of New Jersey is quite beautiful... bucolic even...except for the parts that the petrol industry and New Yorkers have ruined.

journeyingrick said...

yep. except for those ugly blighty parts, everywhere i saw in nj was gorgeous. and the people are nice. which surprises texans - that anyone from north of here is nice ...
we need to get out more ...