As soon as I got up there, all my nervousness dissipated. What a relief! I felt comfortable at the podium—imagine that! Now all I have to do is get better at not bringing on fits of anxiousness the days beforehand. It comes with practice, I’m sure.
I really wanted to post pics from the evening but effectively none of the photos turned out. But I can post this one, albeit it totally blurry. It’s the gesture that counts, though. This is Leon Hammerhead telling me something right before I went up to the podium. “Ok, kiddo,” he said, “get up there and have some fun.”
I’m happy to say that I did have fun and my department rallied around me—treating the filmmaker and I to dinner and drinks, playing pool afterwards, and even a handful of fresh roses to adorn my cabin. More than anything, though, was the genuine praise and vote of confidence from AMO, MD, and Leon himself that followed my reading. Do they realize they’re kind of like gods to somebody like me? No, they don’t. They’re loveably humble. What a truly caring community I have found myself in!
And today? I was given the day off. No classes. I’m heading down to the lake right now…