The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Openingnotes Section Title
Beth English Photo

I am sitting on the front porch, a soothing breeze skimming the skin. Just beyond the weathered boards of this home on Topsail Island lie sand dunes topped with sea oats. And visible beyond that — the crashing surf. It shifts from murky green to crystal aquamarine to slate before it touches the horizon. Today is mostly cloudless, with only the faintest wisps to lighten the already pale blue.

The sounds are the best part — joyful shrieks of children, scolding gulls and the constant roar of breakers crashing.

Vacation — is there anything better?

I thought about writing on a number of topics — probably the best of which was meeting some truly wonderful faculty members who are fabulous researchers and equally fabulous teachers (something UNCG does particularly well) — but all I really want to think about right now is how much I'm enjoying this short pause. I like to think of the slower pace of summer in general as a comma in the long sentence of a year.

I hope the busyness of your spring has turned into slower, longer days to be savored. If it hasn't, take a moment to look at the “Down the garden path” slideshow. It's guaranteed to make you want to lie in a hammock with a cold drink in hand. I like to think of that slideshow being close at hand on days when I'm feeling stressed. What could be better than taking a few minutes to absorb the beautiful spots of campus and hear bird songs and waterfalls?

I also hope that if you are able to take some time off and head to the beach or wherever you might want to go, you find our list of books for summer reading helpful. We have a lot of readers on our staff, and I love getting recommendations from them. We all have different tastes but we all know good writing when we read it.

One of my picks is Michael Parker's “The Watery Part of the World.” I read it shortly after it came out in April and loved every second of it. As I got close to the end, I put it down so I could enjoy it a day longer. I didn't want it to end. My only regret was that I didn't have an ocean in front of me as I was reading. His writing evokes the coast so strongly I felt the pull of the ocean as I read. It's a beautiful, lyrical, mysterious, powerful book.

What are you reading this summer? How are you spending your extra daylight hours? I'd really love to hear from you. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy every second of this humid, lazy, firefly-laden season.

Beth English '07 MALS, Editor





The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Location: 1000 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro, NC 27403
Mailing Address: PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
Telephone: 336.334.5000
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Last updated: Tuesday, 04 October 2011
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