Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A New School Year

There is something exciting about the start of a new school year.  Campus is a buzz of new activity, everyone seems to be full of energy, it’s a fresh start and a new beginning.  I’ve always looked forward to the first day of school, guess that pretty much means I’ve always been a nerd, but I suppose that’s what you get being the daughter of two teachers.  I find the academic year to be a comforting cycle of new beginnings and satisfying conclusions.  Even though things are always changing – courses, professor, classmates – there is the ease of a familiar routine.  Perhaps that is why I spent the first half of my undergrad career thinking I wanted to be a teacher, I enjoy the rhythm the academic calendar.

For me, the start of the semester is always filled with a renewed vigor.  This is a fresh start, a blank slate, and I convince myself that this time the energy will stay with me.  This semester I’ll always be on top of my readings, tackle my assignments with enthusiasm, and perhaps even work ahead!  I know this zest will start to wane as the term progresses, so I try to take advantage while I have it.

However, sometimes - in my zeal - I get overwhelmed with everything that there is to tackle this semester.  While trying to get started on some work the other day I found myself at a full stop because I didn’t know what to do first.  I felt as if I should be reading about the War of 1812, brushing up on my architectural nomenclature, searching for online archival exhibits, all while simultaneously blogging and tweeting about what I am doing.  Fortunately, I organized my thoughts and was able to get started.  (It was also nice to find out later I’m not the only public history grad student who was feeling that way this week!)

In the midst of the readings and classes, there have also been plenty of new colleagues to get to know.  On Monday, we were notified that the public history grad office was ready.  (The history department moved buildings just before the semester began and there is still a lot of painting, organizing, and settling going on.)  I have a feeling it’s going to be a great place to not only get work done – more so when we eventually have wifi access – but also to commiserate with classmates over the workload.

It has been a busy and exciting first week, and one that bodes well for a good semester.

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