"This is the place," said Brigham Young, feverish and pockmarked by a painful arachnid-borne infestation known as the black measles, as his emigrating Mormons passed out of the Wasatch Mountains and caught their first glimpse of the Salt Lake Valley below. Which is to say, we're here, and Our Excellent Utah Adventure has begun.
I want to say something about the drive (spectacular and rejuvenating, must be all the lunar-ka soaked up along Eisenhower's ley lines, plus it's a mighty pretty country you've got here) and the summer that preceded it (which obliged the rejuvenation) and about Salt Lake City and Utah and our careful prep course of sensitive cultural immersion (Dogs in the Vineyard, Under the Banner of Heaven, and one season of Big Love), and the job and the house and all that, but if I wait to write it all up properly and in order, before I turn around it will be December and it will never get done.
So remembering Charles Fort's dictum about measuring a circle, I'll begin anywhere, with my first day at work, and the first two conversations I had with the department chair. I know these were both obligatory legal formalities but the juxtaposition did paint a picture: The first was about accommodating students who find their assigned readings offensive on religious or cultural grounds. Because you know there's loads of raunchy stuff in my history of communication syllabus.* The second was about students who bring concealed firearms to class. Because apparently they can.
Filed under "not in Canada anymore, or Massachusetts, for that matter."
*I guess the first reading
does feature prostitutes and venereal disease.