I’m now fully settled in in Buffalo, and school starts tomorrow. It’s been a weird transition coming here because all of a sudden I’m an “adult,” or something. That means having grown-up friends and going to grown-up parties, having keys to your own office and passcodes for the building. It means going to bed before one in the morning and carefully computing your commuting time so as never to be late. It means teaching conferences and being gregarious and calling the police on the drunk kids next door. The cats are starting to get along with my roommate’s dog. We cooked dinner together tonight.

I suppose I’ll get used to it really quickly, once I get used to a schedule that is regular. I’m actually really frightened that I have no idea what I’m doing here at all, and it’s going to be a horrible failure. But at the same time, everyone has been very reassuring, pointing to the fact that plenty of other people have done it before, and I have my shit together well enough to know what I’m talking about, and at least that’s a great point of departure.

I’ve been getting really excited though, about working with/in other departments here. It turns out that the English department has a Transnational Critical Studies program, which is incredible. The philosophy department here is quite respectable, with ties to our department through cognitive science. The women’s studies department has a program on Global Gender Studies. There is a niche for me somewhere between all these different places, possibilities and combinations. I think this is a place that has enormously nurturing possibilities for me.

The course I’m teaching is Games Studies Colloquium, which is sort of a survey course of critical video game theory. Helping develop the syllabus for it has really helped me sharpen a lot of ideas I’ve had swimming around in my head for a while, and that’s really exciting. I’m starting to work on ideas that might have futures in more or less serious projects. I’m probably going to be writing a lot about games in the next semester, because they’ll always be on my mind. I’ve already started thinking a lot about capitalism, imperialism and real-time strategy games. The power of games as a medium of expression for dominant narratives of race and gender already have a decent body of academic work surrounding them, but I haven’t read anything yet on the development narrative and RTS.

Many of my social concerns about being trans on campus have been cleared up by a number of new friends, and it’s good to know that I’m not nearly as alone as it seemed like I would be. There are, it seems, far fewer trans men at UB as there were in Ann Arbor, but there are still support networks that are really helpful. They’re a little hard to find, but they’re there, and that’s what matters.

I’m not quite as excited about issues I’ve been having with my finances. Unfortunately, my tuition waiver didn’t get processed before my loans went through, and I won’t get a refund until November. That’s a little late, to say the least, but at least the money will be there. This whole past month has been pretty stressful money-wise due to the move and a number of very serious uncertainties related to surgery (which isn’t going to happen, long story short) and loan disbursements. At least I’m getting half my loan money in a few weeks when my student insurance refund comes back, and I’m being paid in the interim. Otherwise I don’t know what I’d do. The future is inconvenient, but at least I learned how it works, I guess.

In general, I’m glad that school is starting. I’m looking forward to see what comes out of this. I already love Buffalo and I’m pretty sure this was the right move right now.