The past couple of weeks I have been at a loss for blogging. It’s not that I can’t think of anything to write about; I have a dozen ideas. I just can’t seem to settle on one. Recipes? Organic cleaning products? Fathers and daughters? Online shopping? Prop 8? Reality TV? What do people want to read about? What do I want to write about? My brain spins as I watch lame reality TV at 5 am when I feed my son. And I end up not writing about anything.
If I were one of my own students, I would tell myself to get over it and get out of my own way. To do that, I have to write something—anything—and not worry about its brilliance. Getting words down is half the battle (G.I. Joe!). So like White Snake, here I go again . . .
Today was the start of classes at my college. I love the first day of school. Always have. When I was a kid it meant a new outfit, new shoes, possibly a new backpack, and hopefully new friends. I love unused school supplies, trapper keepers, and old school pencil boxes. It makes me want to wear knee socks and eat an apple (organic, of course).
In college and grad school, it took on a whole new level. There is just something about anticipation of sitting in a class, waiting for the syllabus. (Yes, I really am that much of a nerd.) I always read ahead, skimming over the grading policy, learning objectives, and office hours. What I want to know is what I’m going to be doing. What kind of assignments do I get (note I don’t say ‘have’) to do? What adventure does the semester hold for me?
I love being a student. My one regret about the birth of my son this past summer is that it, along with my summer school responsibilities, made it impossible for me to take an online class from my favorite professor. The topic alone had me salivating for just a glimpse at the syllabus: Graphic Novels. (Dr. H, if you read this, please offer it again soon!)
And so as I stood in front of my students today, I found myself envious of them (not because they have me for a teacher—I wouldn’t want me; I’m too demanding). What world will open up to them this semester? What will they discover that might change the course of their lives? Whether it’s in my class or another, how will this semester help to shape them?
On the flip side, how will it help to shape me? We have a new instructor starting in our department and after her first class, she confessed how nervous she was. I thought back to my first day, only two years ago. I was almost paralyzed with fear. Now instead of fear, I feel excitement. I have learned so much from my past classes, workshops, and students and I can’t wait to try it out. Even more, I can’t wait to see what my students are going to teach me next.