New job, Orlando musings

Well, it’s official. I have been offered—and have accepted—a faculty position at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. I will be teaching in the Creative Writing for Entertainment Master’s Program there. The fine line details have yet to be worked out, but needless to say, I’m very excited about it. For the time being, I will commute from my home in Oxford…yes, I did say “commute.” And this out-of-the-box idea was suggested by my future boss. Have I said how cool this program is?

So I don’t know how I can write the next paragraph or two without it sounding like a sales pitch for Full Sail, but what I’m intending it to be is simply my observations of the campus. The FS campus is super-high-tech, for every program: film students get state of the art computers for editing and such, digital design students get same, music students have fully equipped recording studios not just for their school work, but for their personal use (same as for the backlot for film students). Every program has state of the art equipment related to their chosen career. It’s a pricey school…but the upside of that is that every student that is there WANTS to be there (unlike some of the English Composition classes I’ve taught).

So BJ and I got to spend some time in Orlando not just at Full Sail, but driving around the area. The first thing I noticed about Orlando is that the lights are long. I don’t mean the physical shape, but the time it takes to change from one color to the next. That, and they seem to be in love with Toll Roads here. Felt like every time we made a turn, some booth was asking for 50 cents or a dollar. One booth asked for exact change—I had not expected the booth, and so it made me wonder what would happen if I didn’t have exact change (I don’t normally carry change in my pocket—when I come home with it, I usually add it to the “vacation” fund!). Truthfully, I don’t know what would happen.

Orlando reminds me much of L.A., flat and spread out. No, it isn’t nearly as big, but everything seems low to the ground. On one stretch of road there (Semoran), there is a McDonald’s every mile or two. Seriously. There are more Micky D’s in a 10 mile stretch from the airport to the University than in the entire city of Oxford (though the ones in Oxford are horrible—avoid them at all costs!).

BJ and I also decided to go out to Universal one evening. Thought we’d grab a bite to eat and maybe see a movie. No theme park stuff or anything. It costs $15 just to PARK! Lady at the booth said I could stay for 20 minutes and it would only cost $3. So, I don’t remember Universal in California costing anything to park. Granted, that has been some years ago, but we used to go out every now and again to catch a movie, or to eat. I don’t remember it costing to park.

More later, I’m sure.



Filed under General, Moving

9 responses to “New job, Orlando musings

  1. peggy cook

    I am so proud for you. Hope you and your family love it. Keep in touch

  2. Barbara Braun

    I went to school with your Aunt Judy in Piggott and fell in love with your writing in the Piggott Paper. I live in Lake Wales, Fl. that is just west and south of Orlando you can get a pass that covers the toll roads that goes in the window of your car and yes that is the hub from here to their so it has all the toll roads going thru their. Sounds like a great job and I wish you lots of luck.

  3. Forrest

    Congrats bro it sounds like a dream job for you. Just let me know when you decide to relocate so I can plan my vacation. I will need a place to stay. Ha ha

  4. So happy for you, Roland. I can’t imagine commuting to Orlando for long. We’ll miss you at BCW.

  5. Peggy Johnson

    Congratulations, Roland. I never heard of Full Sail University or the masters degree you mentioned in creative writing. But, then, I’m just a small town girl. I wish you all the good luck in the world. I hope you really enjoy your new position.

  6. Congratulations! Now it looks like your photo is waving good-bye! LOL!
    I know you’ll keep us posted on the new events in your life and we’re all be waiting like children ready to hear the next chapter.
    Once again, congratulations!

  7. You know Merit wanted to attend there and may still look at the Master’s programs. I think this is a great opportunity. Glad it has worked out. With you commuting, we can hopefully still see you sometimes at BCW mtgs. In fact we need a speaker….. Love to you all, ML

  8. Kenneth Renshaw

    Congratulations, Roland!

  9. brucecosta

    Way to go, ol’ buddy!

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