A little over two years ago, at the tail end of a rigorous grad school search, I found myself driving home from an on-campus interview at Eastern Illinois University. Prior to my visit, I was hopeful that this place might feel “right.” That I would somehow be given some sign that this was the correct next step. As I drove home, my mind racing over my interview answers and the interactions I had with staff and students at EIU, I found myself fighting with hope. I wanted this. I wanted it badly enough to allow the pesky, vulnerable light of hope in.
A few days later, in the muggy ambiance of my room in old Botswin (my A/C unit had recently checked out of the relationship), I fielded a phone call and, heart racing, I breathlessly accepted an offer. I was going to EIU!