I absolutely love the academic life. No wonder I married a professor and teach college.
Thinking of years past, I conceive of them all September – May. Fall to spring, with a vacation between. Yellow leaves remind me of learning. Cold winter breezes remind me of books, read fireside. And the green shoots of spring make me think exams and graduation. My entire life’s memory is broken into school years. I began elementary at age 5 and continued through high school. Then I went to college. And then graduate school. From there I came here with my husband, the professor, where we both teach. September thru May.
I wouldn’t want it any other way.
So this time of year is like New Year’s to me.
Here are a few of the things I love about it:
- It makes me want to put on plaid skirts and brainy glasses!
- Few places are as full of promise as the aisle of new school supplies.
- The smell of freshly copied syllabi ready to be passed out on the first day.
- The eager, expectant looks of the students on that first day, waiting to see that syllabus.
- The hustle and bustle of students down the sidewalks and halls.
- The reverent hush of the library in contrast to the hustle and bustle across campus.
- That sense in the air – a mixture of fresh starts, fall, eagerness and school pride.
- Fliers appearing everywhere on campus announcing club meetings and activities.
- The chance to again engage young minds and shape the future.
- The chance to again be shaped by our future.
Right now I’m creating my syllabus. Soon enough I’ll put on my plaid skirt – alas, I don’t have any brainy glasses. I’ll head to the university and pull into the faculty lot, parking here:
With my textbook and lecture notes in my portfolio bag, I’ll walk under the pillars, passing the fountain.
Hear it gurgle and splash?
In the distance I can spot the campus clock tower. It was a senior class gift to the university a few years ago, the brain-child of one of our majors. It chimes every hour -- I love that sound.
I’ll enter the building by the lake and head to my classroom. I’ll unlock the door. Turn on the lights. Pull up my PowerPoint for that day. Break out a fresh dry-erase marker. Lay out my notes. And watch the students, many of whom I will fall in love with over the next 4 months, file in one-by-one and choose their seats.
They’re nervous - it’s a public speaking class. They have no idea what they are getting themselves into.
But I do. And it will be fun.
Another year has begun!
Thankful for a new school year – the chance to both teach & learn.