On the first day I came to Lakefield, I was on my own. Kevin and the kids were on a canoe trip in Algonquin with Kevin’s brother and his kids – it’s their 12th year taking this trip – so I had to get to my new home alone.
I rented a UHaul van, which should have been all I needed, given that I wasn’t moving furniture. When I got to the rental place, I was surprised when the guy told me that he had a 10 foot truck for me.
I said, “Really? Do you really think I need a ten inch truck?”
And he said, “Honey, if you want a ten inch truck, head down the road to Toys R Us. I’m giving you a ten foot truck.”
He handed me the keys, and when I found the truck in the parking lot, there was another guy rushing me to drive out quickly.
But I just stood there, staring at what looked to me to be a massive truck. I had never driven anything like this before. Was no one going to teach me to drive this thing? So I took a photo and texted my sister, who had just moved a few weeks earlier and also rented a truck.
I asked her, “How do I drive this thing?”
She wrote back, that Tony, her fiancé, drove it and he scraped the side along a bunch of parked cars. Her advice was this – “Whatever you do, stay left.” That was it.
So I got in and started driving. To be honest, I found the whole experience somewhat amusing and mostly irresponsible.
Part way home, I realized that something was wrong. There was no rear view mirror. How was I supposed to go forward, when I couldn’t see what was behind me? I’m an English teacher, and I was so struck by this metaphor of me driving to my new life, without looking behind. Fortunately, at some point on the drive to Lakefield, I realized that there were two big, long side mirrors, so what I had to do was learn how to see behind me, just through a different indirect, side perspective.
About half an hour from the school, I realized that I was fine driving this truck forward, but I did not think I could back it up down the driveway to my new house. So I texted Tim Rutherford, our CFO and Associate Head of School.
He wrote back, “When you arrive, park the truck and text me. I will take it from there.”
So here I am at Lakefield College School, with a few weeks behind me now. I am asking lots of questions, learning to spend my time in new ways, focusing on the future while learning all I can from the past, and relying on others – many others! – in this amazing community.
p.s. When I arrived, Tim took this photo of me, which I thought was so thoughtful! Only later did he admit that he took the picture because he was happy to see the “$19.95/day” on the side of the truck! He was clearly thinking about a different metaphor… so I will add that humour really ensures that we are all enjoying our new adventure together…
p.p.s. I will be updating this blog to the Lakefield branding very soon! For now, my priority has been getting to know everyone here! But stay tuned…