Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

On My Street September 18, 2012

I’m having a lot of trouble focusing on grading response papers after teaching my classes today, so I thought I’d let you in on a little blog post I’ve been working on in my head.

On my street there are big houses and small houses, and thanks to my across the street neighbors, I’ve gotten to know some of the people who occupy these different houses. Now that it’s full on election season, people are starting to put their signs of allegiance in the front yard. I wonder if Halloween will be tricky this year with the signs up.

In the year that we’ve lived in our house, we’ve observed the break-up of the couple next door, and the formation of a new family in the same space. They don’t have any signs in their yard.

Across the street, we’ve watched as their teenage daughter figured out what school she wanted to go to (UVa won out). She packed up and left for college, and they adopted a little dog. Their younger daughter makes good use of her swing in the afternoon. They are very active in their church. They recently put out an Obama sign.

Next to them is a very old couple I talked with at a neighborhood gathering once. She was delighted to hear that I work at a Catholic university, and she was pleased that someone in our family stayed home with the children to raise them. She was probably a little surprised that it was Patrick, but that’s okay. They have a Romney sign.

Next door on our other side are the people we borrowed our new sitter from. They are both employed by the government and sometimes don’t get home until late in the evenings from work. Their house is huge. They have an Obama sign.

On their other side is a house that was for sale for most of the summer but is no longer for sale. The father walks the dog every day at 9:30 am while he talks on his cell phone. The two teenage boys have to pull weeds out of the driveway on a regular basis. The mother always talks to Seamus and Gilbert as they go by. She says they remind her of her two boys. They were selling their house so they could move to their even bigger house in the city. They have a Romney sign.

I guess we’ll put up our sign soon. There’s no sense living in a purple state if you can’t have an opinion. It is interesting though to know people so long without knowing or guessing their political affiliation, and I have to say, for each of our neighbors, it was a toss up. I’m still curious what will go up next door…

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2 Responses to “On My Street”

  1. That’s cool to live in such a diverse neighborhood. We’ve noticed that around here you can guess political affiliation by the neighborhood people live in. Downtown are the Democrats. Out in the suburbs are the Republicans.

  2. JT Says:

    And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”
    So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
    He said “You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you’ll do”
    So I took off my hat, I said “Imagine that. Huh! Me workin’ for you!”
    Whoa-oh-oh

    Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
    Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
    Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?


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