Like most academics probably do, I regard August as my “New Year.” This is the time of year when I make resolutions and hold great optimism for what’s to come in the fall: My lectures will be better, my desk will stay cleaner, and the electronics in the classroom will always work.
The adjustment from the less-stuctured summer months to a regular class schedule, office hours, and committee meetings is always hard, but I like seeing colleagues and meeting new students. It reminds me of my first semester in college, when I carried my books in a briefcase because I wanted my professors to know that I was serious about studying. (Now that I think about it, I’ve never met any other freshmen who showed their studiousness like I did.)
Speaking of things that are cool, I’m using several new books in my Early U.S. survey courses. I’m teaching our new historical methods course as well, which we now require in the sophomore year. I have a good group signed up; hopefully, they won’t burn me in effigy by fall break.
We also have a full slate of events lined up for the history students. With so many commitments pulling at students, it’s hard to find activities and times that fit everyone’s schedule, but I’m optimistic that we’ll have investment from the students.
Here’s hoping that your semester preparation is going well, wherever you are in academia. For you non-academics, January 1 isn’t that far away.