I love the start of the semester, especially fall semester, because when you have been in college towns as long as I have (starting my 39th year, all in university towns except one year in hell and Southern Illinois when I was a school librarian) August marks the beginning of the new year. It makes me want to learn something.
I have to admit, this past summer kicked my ass up one side and down the other. There has been constant change for months, from massive amounts of retirement among the faculty and staff to a new phone system. Lots of clashing learning curves. Lots of demands on my time and energy (both from paid work at the library and volunteer work at the radio station) and it was hotter than the hinges of Hades for most of the summer.
I got a couple of breaks: ten days in July driving to Halifax, Nova Scotia and back. It was a trip I’ve been planning for years and a family reunion of people I’m not related to. That was nice.
There was also the World Science Fiction Convention which was held in Chicago, Illinois from August 30-Sept 3. Scalzi was toastmaster, Mike Resnick was the author GOH…I got to see a lot of people that I wanted to see and by Saturday I had actually de-stressed enough to want to be sociable. There’s the rub.
Classes started August 27. That means I missed 2 days of the first week of class, plus the long weekend. The big issue was the schedule. I had a Beta version ready for the start of classes and for the first two weeks because we didn’t start normal hours until Sept. 4. However, I apparently didn’t make clear to everyone that it is imperative to find a sub (it’s one of those things that you think is obvious, until it’s not) so there were people who basically said they needed subs and didn’t follow through, and one guy who said he’d sub, but because his name hadn’t been put on the schedule he was told that he didn’t have to come in. There was always one student and one GA here, but it made me look bad and produced a storm of email.