Today is the first day of classes. Here are ten things about that.
1. I slept like crap last night. This is not unusual; no matter how long I teach, how excited I am to start a new class, or how prepared I feel, I never sleep well on the night before the start of a new term.
2. It’s stinking cold today, but I wore a skirt, anyway. I am a big believer in first impressions, and I want to make an impression of professionalism and competence. I’m wrapped in wool and fleece, but I look grown-up and put-together. I even wore a little make-up.
3. I have two classes today and one tomorrow (which might not go off; the weather forecast is looking ominous). My 8:00 class is a composition course which, at the moment, has 19 students. The 10:00 class is a section of critical thinking that’s stuffed full with 25 students.
4. The secretary came in this morning to find me at the photocopier, and we laughed about that. I’m kind of a last-minute photocopier, and today found me copying student surveys, a grammar assessment, and all my syllabi.
5. I have 5 students this semester who were in classes with me last term. Four of them are in my composition class from last semester’s basic writing course (and all of them should do well) and one’s in my critical thinking class. I like them all, too, which makes it that much better.
6. I have an appointment this afternoon with the Goddess of the Blackboard. I’m hoping she’ll teach me how to make the damned grade book feature behave the way I want it to.
7. My college campus has a wonderful sandwich shop in the cafeteria. I’m going to treat myself to lunch between my last class and my aforementioned Goddess appointment. I’ve been remembering fondly their chicken salad with cranberries and walnuts…
8. I think I’m going to teach both classes around current events. I’ll use a lot of TED Talks in the critical thinking class, and I have a couple of ideas about how to adjust the terms of the papers that the students are expected to write in the composition course. I’m still formulating the plans for these, though.
9. The section of critical thinking that I (potentially) teach tomorrow (if it doesn’t snow too much) is a small class (there are 10 students in it as of this morning) meets once a week and runs for nearly 3 hours. I’m both excited and nervous about this.
10. While I’m deeply dissatisfied with adjunct work, I’m happy to be teaching at all. Here’s hoping for a challenging, exciting, successful semester.