San Antonio Sabbatical

Settling In

Posted on: August 21, 2010

This was the big week.  I have now relocated to San Antonio.  So many preparations went into this move and it has finally taken place.  When I arrived in Texas on Tuesday — following weeks of stressful prep work, a couple of days of packing, and extreme traffic delays on the drive to New York (traffic was so bad that I drove only two miles in two hours as I was approaching the George Washington Bridge) — I was very tired.  I knew I would need some time to just relax.  After my two flights (NYC/LaGuardia to Atlanta, then Atlanta to San Antonio), I took a taxi to my apartment complex.  I picked up my keys and gate remote control at the leasing office as well as a box of non-perishable food (dry cereal, pasta, canned goods, etc.) and paper products and another box of cleaning supplies that I had shipped here.  A third box — books — is due to arrive today; the longer delivery time is due to the cheaper parcel post rate I paid to have the books shipped.  It was 1:45 p.m. (Central time zone) when I finally arrived at my small furnished apartment.  I felt so relieved to walk through the door with my belongings (including a brand new Travelpro suitcase compliments of Delta Airlines) and a fast food take-out lunch of chicken fingers, salad, and apple juice purchased at the airport after landing, and knew that I was now home.  I did it!

I’m not an avid astrology reader and believer, but my horoscope on the day of my move — Tuesday, August 17th — was particularly fitting.  According to that day’s edition of the San Antonio Express-News (page 7D), the 5-star horoscope (“dynamic” day) for Aries reads:  “A willingness to forge a new path is nothing new for you.  Still, others need to see what happens when you do just that.  Many will demonstrate interest and admiration.  Tonight:  Let your mind wander.”

On Wednesday morning the cable guy came and hooked me up to the Internet.  (All other utilities had already been activated since they are included in my monthly rent.)  Later that day I did a little cleaning and unpacking, and completed my apartment move-in inspection/list of damages (“Inventory and Condition Form”) and returned this to the leasing office as required in exchange for my mailbox key.  At 3:30 p.m., a UPS package arrived.

Before I left Pennsylvania, I ordered some dairy-free frozen meals from (I don’t like cheese and my lactose intolerance makes milk products hard to digest).  I figured that after a stressful move and being without a car for several days — I had it shipped from my Dad’s house in New York and it’s due to arrive early next week — I wouldn’t want to worry about grocery shopping for a while.  This meal delivery service is a nice way to reward myself and it gives me some time to relax and settle in.  So far I’ve eaten three of the meals and they were delicious.

Thursday, August 19th was the day of Our Lady of the Lake’s new Graduate Student Orientation and Welcome Reception.  New students were grouped together at tables reflecting their various graduate programs.  The general orientation lasted for three hours in the morning and included several speakers representing different areas on campus.  They each welcomed us and provided valuable information about the school and its resources.  The school’s emphasis on service to others and spirituality (it’s a Catholic institution) resonated with me and reminded me of my nine years of Catholic schooling when younger.  Even though I’m not Catholic, I appreciate and follow the general Christian values advocated.  OLLU seems like a great fit for me.  The orientation was excellent and included lunch with professors from our respective programs.  In the afternoon the psychology students had a special department orientation/reception.  After this, I spoke with my department chair and met with my academic advisor to prepare my schedule of classes (one lecture and one practicum, both as an auditor) and officially register for them.  I then went to the university bookstore and purchased my one required textbook.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the textbook, Counseling Latinos and la familia:  A Practical Guide by Azara L. Santiago-Rivera, Patricia Arredondo, and Maritza Gallardo-Cooper; Sage Publications, Inc., 2002), is written in English, not Spanish, even though the course will be taught in Spanish.  The Fall semester begins on Monday, August 23rd.  I’m ready.  I’m also ready to get my car because my taxis that day were each 1/2 – 1 hour late and they were expensive.  I live about ten miles from OLLU and spent $50 on roundtrip taxi fare in order to attend the orientation/welcome reception.

The weather in Texas this past week has been hot with high humidity.  Temperatures were around 100 degrees each day and will continue to be at that level for the next several days.  I had been warned about the heat here.  Fortunately, my apartment has a ceiling fan and air conditioning so I’ve been able to stay cool indoors for much of the time.  I’m hoping that the outdoor temperatures cool down a bit with the arrival of the fall season.  I don’t like extreme climates.  Spring and fall in the northeast region of the U.S. are my favorite times of year.  Texas seasons are different and will require some adjustment.

(Slightly Off Topic) — Heard on the news:  Dora the Explorer, the popular seven-year-old Latina cartoon heroine, recently celebrated her 10th anniversary.  She has been described as a “trailblazer” and has a large devoted and engaged audience of children.  Here is a review of her TV show.  Congratulations, Dora!!!




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