Starting Over

Today, the second day of the semester, I was not in the classroom.  I held office hours.  It was a spectacularly beautiful late summer day.   Judy and Josh were at Fenway watching the Sox come from behind in a 5-4 walk-off win against the Orioles while I sat in my airless office 400 hundred yards away, listening to game audio over the Internet.  I had few walk-ins and was able to read some articles, write a post, handle some administrative chores, and work on the AFC Legal Resources site.  About 2:30  I was logy and went to the SMG Starbucks on the second floor.  Only a half-dozen tables were occupied and I did not recognize anyone.  That’s the September Story.  Hundreds of the familiar faces I would have seen last April have graduated and gone, new seniors are working, looking for jobs, or otherwise occupied off campus, dozens of juniors are abroad, and it’s too soon to know many of my first-time students.  It hits me each September that we have to start again to build relationships, get beyond facades, forge the personal links that make teaching an emotionally satisfying pursuit.  Soon when I enter Starbucks and walk the halls this feeling of re-generation will have passed but, this week, it defines my relationship to the school.

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