Sunday, August 19, 2007


Syllabi written, ready, posted? Check.

First week's assignments, activities, et cetera, same? Check.

Names and faces committed (more or less) to memory? Check.

First day's classes mapped out mentally? Check.

All systems go? Check.

So why the nerves?

I've always got nerves the night before the first day of classes.

I've been teaching at the college level for eleven years now, you'd think I'd be used to this by now.

Tomorrow will be, as it always is, exciting. I'll be meeting roughly 75 new people, and reacquainting myself with a dozen or so familiars, with whom I'll be wrestling with complex mathematics for the next three and a half months or more. I'll be hurling myself into a classroom where the latitude I grant my students in their interactions with me permits them to challenge me, call me out, put me on the spot, at any one of the fifty minutes that'll make up our class period.

Three times tomorrow, I'll do this.

God, I love it.

I'm sure mistakes will be made, as much by me as by my students. I'll forget to mention something (it always happens), I'll misstate my meaning, I'll misunderstand someone's question. Mistakes will be made, yes, but in equal measure, so too will be made discoveries. If all goes (at least somewhat) according to plan, I'll arrive on the far side of this coming semester a bit wiser than I am now.

I can't wait.

But I can, and I will.

See you there!

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