Last Thursday I spent the day at Framingham State, tending to a handful of preparatory tasks before classes start this Wednesday. In the morning, I attended an English department retreat with other first-year writing instructors: a chance to mingle, share assignment ideas, and swap syllabi before the semester begins. After that, I crisscrossed campus, finding the classrooms where I’ll be teaching, submitting HR paperwork, and getting both my parking decal and faculty ID. Apart from some last minute tweaks to my syllabus, assignment sequences, and Blackboard sites, I feel ready to start the semester…or at least as ready as I’ll ever be.
When I arrived on campus early, a semicircle of Adirondack chairs sat bathed in morning light in an alluringly green and grassy spot. It was an idyllic scene that made me wonder what kinds of conversations will happen here over the coming year as students arrive and settle into the business of mingling, sharing stories, and swapping insights. Sure enough, when I left campus in the still-sunny afternoon, two young women were lounging in the chairs, chatting. Who knows how many more conversations will happen here in the coming months?