Monday, September 1, 2014

A new beginning, again

Oh, I love this time of year!

We're teetering on the edge of a new semester.  First-year students have shown up on campus, and they're full of nervous energy, bursting with grand ideas about the future.  My former students are trickling back from far away places, and they're surprised how much coming back to the campus feels like coming "home".  Everywhere I walk on campus, there are hugs, greetings, exclamations of joy at seeing people long-separated from one another.

The faculty are a bit more sober.  My colleagues are, as every year, visibly stunned by the speed with which the summer flew past us.  Projects we thought we'd have finished, they still loom large.  A wave of paperwork in the form of syllabi, annual evaluations, and course rosters threatens to capsize us and dash us against the wall of September.  And yet, even among the professoriate, there is anticipation, high hope, even occasional giddy optimism about the promise of a new academic year.  I soak this up like a sponge.

Last year, my family obligations occupied much of my attentions.  My husband was off at the army for three months and my children each had their own versions of a Horrible time.  This year, life seems to have mercifully smoothed out for the children, and my husband is not only not traveling, but he's dropped down to part-time work, so he'll be the primary parent.  Miser Mom will be more and more of a Miser Mathematician, and also a Miser Manager (because I've taken on some big administrative duties this year).

Between the start of the semester and all the IronMan training I did this summer, I've done precious little yard sale-ing.  My canning jar collection is mostly empty.  But my syllabus is almost done, and my students are buzzing happily through the hallways; it's going to be a great fall.

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