Approximately one month ago, classes began at Belmont University, and thus began the chapter of my life we’re calling “Nashville Nancy.”1 A little over a month ago, my friends and I threw a few last items into a U-Haul, left Athens, GA, and drove to Nashville, TN. We arrived around 10 p.m. unloaded the U-Haul, and almost died moving my piano in – the issue was primarily a couple of bad angles (coming down the U-Haul ramp & turning into my front door). After much sweat, anxiety (on my part), and thanks to Jonathan’s piano moving experience, all of us (including piano) survived relatively unscathed!
All of this made a bit of a negative impression on my new neighbor, who objected to our endeavors generally. Now that I’m moved in, I never see him, so I’m assuming our relationship is now fine. My amazing friends stuck around for a couple of days; we did some shopping for exciting things likes brooms and cleaning products; we unpacked some and poked around my new neighborhood. Then they loaded up and headed back to the best little college town in the world – the place that has been my home for the past 18 years. And I was left in my new quadplex (er, quadroplex?), alone with a bunch of boxes. The past month has flown by, and has for the most part been a bit like a whirlwind.
Belmont University is beautiful. Every day that I walk onto campus, I’m amazed at just how lovely everything is.2 I also love that I walk past the Bell Tower (and Carillon) every day (think the Arch at UGA), and not infrequently someone is playing the carillon!
I’m teaching four classes this semester: two sections of music history (a version of the class I taught at UGA in the spring) on Tuesday/Thursday, and music appreciation (with a different text book) and world music on Monday/Wednesday/Friday. Technically, world music is the only new class for me – although I was planning to teach a version of this class at UGA this fall, so the prep isn’t from completely from scratch, but is basically completely from scratch because procrastination. Classes have been going mostly well, and my students have exceeded my expectations. I have a student who already met with me because she is interested in ethnomusicology, and several students have visited me during office hours just to say hi. I’m starting to get to know my colleagues in the School of Music. I just signed up for a Teaching and Learning reading group, and I will be connected to a mentoring group soon.
I’ve visited four different churches, and they have all been very, very different. There is certainly no shortage of churches in Nashville, TN! While this endeavor has been fun & fascinating, it does make me appreciate & miss Watkinsville a ton. I have one or two more mega-churches on my list to visit just for fun (research?) and then at least three churches that are in my neighborhood that I’m hoping one of which will end up being my Nashville church home.
I haven’t done much socially because I’ve either been unpacking or scouring thrift stores for furniture, etc. or trying to keep up with my classes. Also, AmericanaFest was a week or so ago, and I am just now catching up from that fun & seeing my Bloodshot pals! This coming week and next, I hope to start reaching out to Nashville friends & doing things like visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
I’ve already had several visitors from Georgia AND Kentucky, and after this weekend, I’ll actually have a (twin) bed in my spare bedroom. If you find yourself in the area, stop by and say hi!