Friday, August 29, 2003

Start of the Semester

One of the many great things about being a professor is that you get to stay plugged in to the great cycle of the year in a way that many other professions don't. (For my wife the engineer, for example, there's no real difference in work between an average September and an average April). September has that same "back to school" feel that it had when you were a kid, but it is even better in that there's less (for me, at least) of the trepidation that went with the return to school.

My syllabi are now finished. I'm teaching Medieval Lit (in translation), a Senior Seminar on Tolkien and Le Guin, and an English 101 that's linked to a Math First Year Seminar and focuses on Science Fiction. It should be a fun semester. I also may continue teaching Old Norse (if the student wants to continue). For the first time in a while I'm not directing an honors thesis (I don't think).

It's immensely satisfying to be able to plan out an entire semester, right down to the chapter and page for each day. Of course it never goes entirely according to plan, but I can be pretty sure how each week in the semester will be working out: what the students will be reading and writing, what my own grading workload will be, etc.

There's nothing quite like the excitement of walking in to a new set of classes in September. I'm hopeful that these will be as wonderful as the ones I had last year.

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