Friday, August 26, 2016

We are GO for launch

It's official: the Fall 2016 semester has begun!

(I think it's apropos that Arcade Fire's "Ready to Start" came up in my random shuffle yesterday...)

I've gone to meetings, taught all of my classes once, and counseled my new advisees. I've reacquainted myself with the online registration system and the new version of the Blackboard site. I'm remembering how to use the photocopier. I've tidied up my office.

Aside from the logistics, I've been wondering for the past week or so whether I'm really ready to start--emotionally, physically. I kept thinking about our recent trip to Cape Canaveral, about our visit to the Launch Command Center, and the checklist they would go through to see if each department would sign off on being ready: GO or NO GO for launch.

(This is the Launch Control Center, the REAL THING. We were thrilled.)
I'm still having struggles with fatigue; at the end of a day of work, I feel as if I've got a low-grade fever. (I'm on it, don't worry--more doctor's appointments next week, more ideas for addressing this issue. And I've got a totally different attitude about saying no to things I just can't do. I have to take care of my body, or none of what I do will be feasible.)

(My heart is open; I hope its wings are ready.)
I wasn't sure if I could transition out of the dreamy, thinking-big-thoughts, how-are-these-ideas-related-and-why-does-it-all-matter mindset I've been walking around in while working on my writing projects. As of right now, I'm still in that transition, remembering how to attend to the mundane (but important) daily tasks necessary for teaching while also occasionally ruminating over a writing issue. I hope I can hold onto some of that dreaminess, actually. And if it means that on some days I get to campus and realize my shoes are probably wrong for my outfit, that's okay. (That happened on Wednesday, and really, it was fine, we all survived.)

One good sign: I loved being back in the classroom. Just loved it. I think the classes went well--even the one we had to kind of limp through because it was 3:00 in the afternoon and 90 degrees outside and stiflingly hot in our classroom (no air conditioning) and everyone was sleepy. Even that one had some bright and brilliant moments.

Another good sign: I've decided to continue my multicolored sabbatical hair. This time around I was going for a slightly different color scheme. I think it's a song about peacock mermaids.

(green, teal, blue, purple)
So, even though I've got some worries about what's to come and how I will handle it, I feel optimistic and even excited. It's a new semester; the world starts over now. Let's go.

(They call this the rocket garden. I was fascinated, as we toured the visitor's center,
at the combination of striving for technological achievement/exploration with
a love and yearning for the stars. It was an interesting combination.)

I hope you find you're ready to start something new and exciting.