This afternoon or evening, we should get back to our little rental house, having been on a long odyssey. We've met wonderful people, gotten to know some better who I'd already met, and hopefully began some friendships. We each had our own highlights from this trip, of course, but all in all, it has been wonderful for the whole family. My wife loved seeing her folks, getting to know some new people, and seeing a new place she'd never been before. The kids loved seeing their grandparents, going to museums and parks, and the musical number played by one of the professors we visited.
That song was definitely one for me, especially since it was the same professor about whom I wrote not long ago. He is truly a gifted, amazing man. I look forward to getting to know him better. I think I will have a great chance to do that in the coming months and years, since I have unofficially accepted the unofficial offer as I await the official offer information next week some time. I know there are more schools to hear from, but I know in my heart I have found a place that can become our new home, at least for a time. I never dreamed I would have the opportunity they are offering me. The professors want to send me things to work on before I even get there so I can (quoting the professor) "get to where most students are after their first year before [I] start." I am still humbled to get such an offer. I know living up to his expectations and hopes for me will spur me to greater heights than simply working with just anyone might. I have had many wonderful mentors throughout my life that have helped me stay motivated to work hard because I respected them so much. It will be great to have the mentors and hopefully friends at this school.
I will write the name of the school on this blog when I get the official offer and accept it. I am just very excited to find out more about it and get to work. For now, I have about ten books to read along with several academic research papers. My future professor is sending me a book written by another future professor so I can learn and understand his mind better. He also suggested some great novels, and I thought I would at least give them a try, if for no other reason than to see what he enjoys. I've got three books I'm sending him that I know he will enjoy based on the collection of novels I saw on his bookshelf. On top of the novels, I'm reading StrengthFinder 2.0 and Strengths Based Leadership at the suggestion of my mother-in-law. They are short books with a large compendium of strengths in the back, or in the case of the Leadership book a compendium of how to lead from a perspective of a given strength and how to lead someone with that strength. It seems like something I could use in a future class, possibly. I love books that encourage people to get to know themselves better. Since both books come with an online code for a web-based test to help the reader find out his top five strengths, they really are a great resource for anyone who could use a little introspective examination.
I might list my top five, if anyone has any interest. For now, I need to rest up a bit more before driving the last leg of this journey.