It’s not the holiday season I’m referring to. No, I’m referring to the season of student inquiries, lack of preparation, general disrespect, and teacher/professor burnout.
I give you “Did I Miss Anything?” by Tom Wayman.
Did I Miss Anything?
Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours
Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 percent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 percent
Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose
Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring the good news to all people on earth.
Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?
Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human experience
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been gathered
In 24 hours, I’ll be nearing the end of my first day of Fall Semester 2015. Goodness, I hope it goes well. I’ve been dreading this semester for many reasons. Not the least of which is the current political climate and how I fear it will enter my classes. After all, I’m teaching public speaking and those speaking in public today are… well… They’re a mess.
It’s Monday. It’s the first Monday of summer break, or as I choose to look at it, the first Monday of my sabbatical. I know that technically my sabbatical doesn’t begin until the fall semester, but why put off until August what I can call sabbatical today? In honor of this eagerly awaited time, I thought I’d write some simple goals I’m looking forward to during this time.
Starting today, by my count, I have 245 days to try and replenish and accomplish much. My first goal is to:
Read 35 books while on sabbatical. It’s a modest goal– a book a week, so let’s cross our fingers that we can do it.
Goal number two:
Watch a movie each day. I do teach film courses after all and will be teaching a new film course when I return in January 2014, so this seems a tad significant.
Goal number three:
Focus on me. Make me happy. I don’t know how I can quantify that, but just this past week I feel like I’ve done more for myself than I have done in a very long time. That needs to continue.