Well, here we go

Time to start the semester… in the middle of a pandemic… a social and cultural crisis… a presidential election like none I have ever seen before…

Time to start teaching fully online, when I am used to being in a comfortably-sized conference room with my students, where I can easily see their faces and reactions. Time to meet a new group of students – some of whom I’ve had before, admittedly, and others whose ideas and questions and plans are as yet unknown to me. 

I actually had an anxiety dream last night about this… the uncertainty, not knowing whether people will show up, whether they will do the work. I can only do so much – but I am one of those professors who takes pride in my ability to engage students, to make them want to contribute to the class. Can I translate that to online interactions? I guess we’ll see. 

In the end, my most important role is to encourage their thinking, their growth, their questions. I love seeing how they evolve and grow over the course of 15 weeks. I just have to remember that every year, I have to jump in with both feet. And every year, it works out. And this year will be different, but I hope that part is the same. 

I don’t know from where I got this quote, but it seems appropriate to the day:

“…isn’t that the making of a little scientist? The curiosity; asking questions; not getting the right answer; deciding to find out for yourself; making a mistake; not giving up; learning patience.”

Here’s to the questions. The ones with answers and the ones without. 

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