Teachers know the feeling all too well: the natural buzz of summer crashes when fall preparation must begin. Yes, the August crash is inevitable. Now, I still have three weeks of break left, but I’m a planner who doesn’t like to leave work until the last minute. While it might sound strange, I always look forward to a new academic year because it’s full of possibility, and I wonder about who I will encounter or how my life will change. Some might call me quixotic, but the world is full of cynics hooked on their own emotional poison. No thanks, that drug kills dreams of a better world. I’d rather embrace new challenges to move forward intellectually and professionally. After all, our time on this rock is limited.
This fall I’m teaching POL 107: Introduction to Political Theory for the first time. Tonight I finished a draft of the syllabus. We have so much to read and discuss in 12 weeks (e.g. Rousseau, Plato, Emerson, MacKinnon, Gandhi). It’s rather difficult to plan a calendar when you know that you can’t possibly include all of the great pieces worthy of our attention. This experience is pushing me as much as it pushes my students. I’m looking forward to the seminar discussions that await us because I know the capabilities of most who have enrolled. Aggressive recruiting helped us cross the threshold so the class would make, and the Marketing Department at the college deserves an acknowledgement for creating the provocative flyer that you see above. Let’s. Do. This.