I began my interview with Mark Druash who caught me writing in my journal in the lobby of the administration building at Tallahassee Community College. He’s a kind man, a teacher of Political Science, with a weathered, but chiseled face – handsome, with a thinning crop of dark hair parted from the left. His slight Southern drawl, coupled with his easy gait, gave our campus tour sort of an ethereal quality. The sprawled campus is larger than Chico State, and the architecture matches all around making seem somehow more of a compound, perhaps. Not red brick, but brick the color of tree bark.

In his office, Mark had photographs of past Indy and Le Mans auto races. Instant flashbacks to my youth, living in Wantagh, with Grandma and Great Grandpop. Mark also had his degrees on the wall. I squinted slightly, trying to imagine mine in its place. Of course, on the way to the interview conference room, Mr. Druash showed me the empty office, perhaps the one that has my name on it?

It’s hard to gauge exactly how an interview goes. I’ve lived long enough to know that sometimes you get the job despite a self-perception that the interview went horribly wrong. And of course the opposite is true. You nailed the interview, and yet nadda. All in all, I remained me. I did not try to bring up the ghost of professors past trying to channel their wisdom through my veins and veiled responses. I answered the questions, fully, honestly, perhaps forgetting a tidbit or two – but who doesn’t.

I left a thirteen page syllabus with all the committee members. Left a memorable “Rick Scott” reference (hair cut), and before I knew it, the interview by committee was over. The teaching lesson went fine, though there was a bit of a technological glitch that had me dodging and speaking from a closet. True. A closet housed all the computer interfaces, and the remote mouse did not work, nor the replacement mouse. The remote keyboard worked, but not the mouse, so I had to dart in and out of the closet as the lesson progressed, since the lesson involved navigating through the Valley of the Shadow web site. One downside.

The meeting with Dean Monte Finkelstein went well, or at least that’s my impression. Toys, present and past, decorated his office, including a few Bozo the Clown items; punching bag, lunch box, mugs. He reminded me of some of my effusive relatives from Long Island, but warm, extremely humorous, and a decorated wit. TCC is lucky to have him. After Mr. Finkelstein walked me to my car (nice gesture), I drove to the gulf coast.

The beauty of the Panacea shore line took me by surprise. Sweeping, mellow, teaming, filled my eyes with images of Native American villages and ancients tossing spun nets into shallow waters, or Spanish galleons, dropping boats and men into the waters to row ashore to take stock, or British “ships of war” patrolling Spain, looking for treasure to sell in Bristol, or illegal slave ships smuggling human chattel. The exotic shock of memories caught in a web of wide beauty.

That was my day. The five and a half hour interview went six, but it seemed as if no time at all had lapped. At the Tallahassee airport, heading for home, wondering if I am already leaving it.