Monday, August 22, 2005

It's Coming! (Theme from Jaws in the Background)

Faculty and students aren’t the only ones to dread the start of the Fall semester.

The first few weeks of a new semester are always hard. We have the professional development days, in-person registration (which gets progressively harder with each day, as more sections of popular classes close and students get more desperate), new students wandering the hallways aimlessly, a panoply of meetings, longer hours, and a general sense of frantic chaos. When the dust settles, it’s time to start the battery of class observations.

The faculty always come back energized, for good and bad. For some reason, they always seem to forget that the rest of us work through the summer – if I hear one more tanned, tenured prof ask me how my summer went, things will get ugly. I won’t miss the summer weather – humid heat just isn’t my thing – and it will be good to have full days again, but the return of office politics is hard to relish.

What makes this Fall especially poignant is that The Boy will officially start public preschool. Our district has a half-day, five-day-a-week program for four-year-olds, and it meets in one of the regular schools. (It’s a bonus of living in a diverse town. Our town has enough low-income kids in it that the state requires it to run a preschool program. If we lived in a tonier burb, daycare would be entirely on us. For once, my ‘social democrat’ side doesn’t conflict with my ‘smart shopper’ side.) It’s a good thing, really; he needs the stimulation and the opportunity to play with other kids, and The Wife desperately needs a respite from his energy during the day. It’s just hard to let go. It’s a milestone of growing away from us, which I know is good, but it’s still a little sad. He’s our little guy.

This Fall, it’s coming from all sides. At least the weather should be nice...