I have had the first day (Syllabus Day) in all of my courses for the semester and for some reason I’ve got some warm fuzzies going on. You might call it #blessed. So I’m going to reflect on some of those things.
First, I am teaching courses that I love. This is my eighth year of teaching Introduction to Sociology and, while it does get a bit monotonous at times, I really like teaching my three-hour night course. I’m able to keep things moving. And I think this semester’s batch of students are going to be really engaged. In fact, one already emailed me to let me know that I was her very first college class ever and it left a wondeful impression on her. I’m teaching Gender in Society and Sociology of the Body as well. It heartens me to see students that either took me in previous classes or heard about me through the grapevine. I’m glad I’m at an institution that gives me such flexibility.
Speaking of teaching, I also received my teaching evaluations from the Spring. When I was a baby teacher, evaluations would devastate me. I thought they would surely keep me from ever getting a job and that my life was doomed. But now even the comments that are negative don’t hurt as bad. I reflect on them and put them in perspective, but I don’t dwell on them. I’m able to appreciate the positive comments, like the one that said I was the best professor they’ve ever taken on campus. Another lauded my online teaching skills. I must be doing something right!
I’m optimistic about my research goals this semester – I want to get at least one manuscript under submission, hopefully by Halloween. It’s attainable.
Another side project I’m going to look into is establishing a study abroad course. I’m also working on a project with colleagues in another department and that seems promising. So many opportunities!
Next, I’m just blessed to have the friends that I do. I’m thinking specifically of two things. First, one of my friends messaged me about a Game of Thrones themed dildo, knowing I would appreciate the existence of such an item. Ha! Earlier this week, a former student who has become a friend messaged me to say he was sorry that Match.com didn’t seem to be working out, but suggested I check out “Should You Date Nate?” He meant it as a joke. Again, I appreciate that people know me well enough to send me stuff like that.
I know I’m not always a great friend given my introverted tendencies and I’ll freely admit that I had a bit of a malaise for about a week-and-a-half, attitude-wise. But I’m infinitely grateful that they stick with me.
Third, I am #blessed to have a dad that will come up and spend a week with me building a magnificent, gorgeous fence. That was nearly a month ago, but I know I appreciate it and my dogs appreciate it, too. Finn gallops around like the horse-dog he is. Izzie prances out there. It’s cute- they love having so much room for activities! My parents are amazing.
Fourth, I’m looking forward to traveling to California soon to not only see my cousin, but to also see The Muppets at The Hollywood Bowl! And maybe Disneyland and/or Harry Potter at Universal Studios!
On Monday, I got to see Green Day for the sixth time. The experience at Blossom Ampitheater in Cleveland for the Revolution Radio tour left something to be desired, but it was good to hear people shout “No racism! No sexism! No homophobia! Fuck Donald Trump!”
I’ve also got some great events lined up over the next few months: Foo Fighters in Cincinnati, Nick Offerman in Pittsburgh, HAMILTON in Chicago (fifth row!)!