Friday, August 20, 2010

Back to School Love

   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.


  1. When I was growing up I always wanted to be a school teacher, but that was just a dream. Instead I went to business school and became a secretary. I truly enjoyed my work except when faculty put more stuff in my box to do than I thought I could handle, but I soon learn how to prioritize and usually met their deadlines.

    No, I did not become a school teacher but rather a secetary in a school. Isn't that interesting.

    Hope you have a good year.
    Blessings, AE

  2. Oh the joy and WORK in teaching.

    I love teaching too and my students too.

    Blessed teaching.

    May you be the hands and feet of Jesus to your students

    Sweet blessings


  3. Love this time of year too. I'm an academic junkie too. Wow, UNCW sure looks different from when I was working there '94-'96. I think everything in your photos was added after I left. Bet half the staff if different as well! Hope you have a good year.

  4. I always did love the smell of brand new school supplies, backpacks, and lunch boxes as a young girl. And still today I enjoy walking down that school supply aisle. Never aspired to be a teacher, but God had other plans. Homeschooling my 3 boys has to be one of the most rewarding tasks I've ever set out to do. Today was our official first day of school and it was a good day. One down, 179 to go - woohoo!!!!

  5. I come from a line of teachers and alway tested high in that career field. I often am the trainer of new hires at every job I have. As much as I fought to be different from my Mom and her Mom in career choices, stating I would not be a teacher, I see more and more that is a desire in me. I am endlessly reading, learning, reasearching, and am seeing that these are desires created by God. He gifts each of us in areas that He desires us to operate in. Maybe My constant desire to learn was really that I was to continue the lineage of teachers in my family.
    As I continue to listen and obey God and let Him lead and guide me we'll see what turns my life takes and where God takes me.

    Have a great year of teaching.

  6. Oh, I loved reading this. Makes me feel like a part of your daily life. And it makes me want to enroll at UNC-Wilmington!!

    I have a really close friend who's daughter is a freshman and she is majoring in communications. I need to connect her with you for her momma's sake! Let's talk about it.

    I have got to find an excuse to come your way this fall. I am imagining the smell of a balmy beach breeze across the campus and it is just calling my name!

  7. Ps. I need to see photos of your patio. We're planning for ours and JJ wants to see what it is like - in stages - if you can help a sister out who is trying to talk her husband into another fall project. :-).

  8. I love to teach as well!
    But...I'm with high schoolers!

    It feels awesome to share what God's given you!
    I bet your students love you!

    Have a great year!

  9. Can I sign up?? I want to walk across that campus to my classroom, and I want you for my teacher!

  10. I loved teaching--and I still consider myself a teacher in some ways.

    The thing I miss most, besides the students, is the cycle. Teaching has a natural rhythm. Fall start up, build to Christmas, breathe, Winter restart, build to Spring Break, breathe, finish up with May, and let the mind lie fallow for a few weeks.

    I miss the rhythm.

  11. My husband is a professor too! I spent almost two decades in corporate training before moving into ministry. There is something so exciting about the start of a new year and all the promises it brings... may this year be filled with blessings for you!

  12. Oh I took a public speaking class when I was at UNCW. Scared me to death- but definitely made me step out of my comfort zone! Hope you have a blessed school year!

  13. Oh, love love love love love it! I didn't realize the depth of how much I missed academia until I came back this year. Now, I'm with you--can't wait for that fall weather to catch up with us.


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