Archive for August 2010

New Beginnings

August 4, 2010

The new academic year will begin soon. Already, there is a different feel to the campus. There is an urgency in the air that heralds the arrival of new students, faculty, staff, and their families, as well as new and exciting challenges for everyone involved in the audacious endeavor that is KAUST. The rhythm of the footsteps on the marble floors has increased in tempo. People have begun to return from vacations to exotic and not so exotic places, eager to reestablish friendships and make new ones. I love being around campus at the start of a new year. It’s like when you were a kid and got a new notebook where the pages were all clean and fresh and lovely. Speaking of fresh and lovely, in my own family, we have had another addition to the next generation – welcome Bridget Sara.

Our son – who is nineteen and autistic – continues to delight and amaze us. He remarked to me the other day that life is like a mandala because nothing in life is forever and a mandala is drawn in the sand and disappears when the wind blows.  I used to worry that we would never be able to carry on a meaningful conversation. Of course, we would love to broaden his range of interests from the various generations of Power Rangers although we concede that he is, indeed, an expert on his subject. Still, you take what you get and, I have to say, that we are very grateful for what we have.

Our community here at KAUST is almost a year old and much has happened in the last twelve months. We have watched the university open and take its first steps. The differences of culture notwithstanding, life here is pretty much as it is anywhere, the same opportunities for joy and sadness, laughter and tears. We have begun to open our hearts and lives to each other in the manner of friends and we are all strengthened by these communal bonds. The last year has been something of a thrill ride and we are looking forward to more of the same as the second year begins.