Tuesday, September 01, 2015


A Fresh Blast of Hope

I've had more first days of school than most human beings ever will.  It's an occupational hazard.  

But there's something intoxicating about first days, even after all these years.

On the first day, nobody is behind yet.  Nobody is swamped with grading.  People are happy to see each other again.  Faculty are excited to meet new students, and students are excited for new classes.  

Every single year -- every semester, really, but it's strongest in the Fall -- there's a fresh blast of hope.

That never gets old.

I think it was Dorothy Parker who commented that she prefers the moment before writing to the moment after, because in the moment before, it could be brilliant; in the moment after, it's merely what it is.  New semesters have an element of that, too.  Some bad stuff will happen, conflicts and disappointments will develop, and the like.  But at the outset, anything can happen, and some of it will be great.

It may be the umpteenth time, but here goes...

I often comment that for all that the week before orientation week is hell on earth, once the kids are back, the energy on campus is magical.

No one is behind in their readings, no one has failed an exam yet, residence romances are just kindling, no one's exhausted and stressed, student loan cheques have just arrived. All is hopeful and excited and its a glorious time to walk around campus and feel it all.

Blast of hope indeed!
Then the registrar calls. . .
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“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called. — A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)
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