Today’s the first day of classes! I don’t teach until 2, but I feel ready. My syllabi are ready to go, and I’m feeling mentally prepared. It’s a small class made up of mostly upper-level undergrads. I feel like I’ve won the lottery with that one. Even my lower-level undergraduate classes are about half the size they were at my previous institution, which allows me a lot more flexibility. It’s hard to do meaningful small-group work with 50 students in a room built for 35. That definitely won’t be a problem here, yet another perk of working at a ritzy private school.
Even though this is not a permanent job, I feel a sense of ease that I haven’t felt in quite some time. That’s not to say that I’ve become complacent, but I feel like I’m able to accomplish so much more than I have in other environments. My office is mine (not shared), I have what I need, and I have the enthusiastic support of a lot of people both within and outside my department. I’ve basically been set up to succeed, so now my job is to exceed their expectations. It may not buy me a lot of time here, but it will get me the kind of recommendations and endorsements I need to keep my career going in the right direction.
I spent last Thursday-Monday in Sleepy Southern Town with the Spouse. Our first few visits are scheduled pretty close together so that we can ease into the idea of living apart this year. The drop off at the airport on Monday morning was far less traumatic than the one I did a couple weeks ago. I think we realize how quickly a week goes by when you are busy. Being at home was nice, but I am so excited about being in a new place with a great job, so I didn’t mind coming back. He’ll be here again in a little over a week for a longer visit, so until then I put my nose to the grindstone and make great impressions.