One Month

Am I ready for the school year?

Photo by cottonbro on

One month until the school year starts. That means the rhythm of my life completely changes from working at home to working in my office and in classrooms. This fall I have three face-to-face days with students and two days working from home.

I have my course sites for fall ready, which means my classes are all organized. They’re all in a easy-to-use form for students after some tweaking. I should be ready.

But there’s that transition.

The hardest part for me when it comes to preparing for fall is the transition. I don’t transition well (which makes me think of a diagnosis of ADHD, but I have never been diagnosed). I groove in whatever mode I’m in, but getting into that mode is difficult. So going from very flexible time to giving six lectures a week and sitting office hours will be a bit difficult.

The good thing about fall semester

One of the things that gets me through transitions is ritual. There’s enough ritual built into the beginning of the semester — greeting of students, Convocation, the faculty-staff picnic. Rituals make transitions easier by giving a celebration and a clear demarcation to it.

We missed the rituals last year, and that made everything harder for me. We canceled the picnic. I only met with half my students at any given time. I conducted office hours via Zoom. I had no real transition and it added to my stress level and sense of isolation.

This fall should be a real transition to the school year. I will clean my office to welcome students. I will go to the faculty-staff picnic and cheer on football season and meet with my whole classes and say hello to my fellow faculty members in the hallway. I will once again have a transition with rituals to make the change in routine easier — or, at least, celebratory.

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