Monday, April 16, 2012

Talking Texas Writing at Baylor

Today at Baylor Uiversity my talk, "Exploring Women of the American West," was part of a two-week long Celebration of Texas Literature, Music and Film. My talk was in Celebration of Texas Writers. I was a bit intimidated by the prospect of this, not being easy at formal presentations, but it turned out just fine.Son-in-law Christian, an avid Baylor alum, drove us down there. We had lunch at the Faculty Center, then toured the extensive Texana collection (even behind the scenes) with the director as our guide--it was an interactive tour as he was open to questions, comments, etc., and we really enjoyed it. Off to the Armstrong Browning Librry to tour the Browning collection in its most impressive building--lots of artifacts, portraits and paintings, and impressive stained glass. But not quite my cup of tea as I'm more interested in and know more about Texana. Besides I was getting tired of walking and standing.
Then a walk clear across campus--a good way--to the Moody LIbrary where we looked at the posters celebrating Texas writers and then collapsed in Starbucks (how modern have campuses gotten?) Then it was time to head to the English building for my talk which seemed to go well--the audience of about 40 was attentive, interested, and sometimes laughed and smiled. It was in a circular tiered classroom, and I had to keep turning my head to take in all of the audience. Afterward, questions, sold some books, a reception, and then dinner in Waco before heading home.
Thanks to Dr.Dianna Vitanza, chair of the English department, and longtime friend Donna Walker-Nixon, for putting this together and making it work. Donna was our tour companion and dinner host but she said Dr. Vitanza was the one who was instrumental in making me the choice for the slot.
I'd never been to Baylor, though now I feel I've walked much of the campus. It's pretty, much larger than when Christian was there in the '90s, and I saw many more bikes than I ever did at TCU--maybe because it's such a sprawling campus. Christian loved the nostalgia, pointing out where his grandparents' had lived in boys and girls dorms, where he lived, various buildings in which he had attended classes.
And the Mexican restaurant where we had supper? He'd eaten there many, many times, and was glad to return.
This is a sort of goofy picture of me next to a display of my books--well, the picture's not goofy but that's how I think I look. The display was in the Moody Library, apparently the main library on campus.
I'm weary.


Cassy Burleson said...

Loved hearing you today! Thanks for the well-prepared remarks and the improptu chats. Such a nice treat in my long day.

Loralee said...

Judy, congrats on the wonderful speaking invitation. I wish I could've been there to hear your talk and visit the Baylor campus.

Judy Alter said...

Thanks, Loralee. It was an honor to be there.