New Wineskins, Same-old Rotgut

For the past ten years I have taught the senior capstone either twice a week in 80-minute sessions or at nights with a leisurely two and a half hours in which to fit all of my familiar gimmicks.  This semester, however, and for reasons too complicated to go into, I am teaching a single section in the three times a week 50 minute version.

Talk about messing with a man's timing!  Senior capstone is a course I could teach backward, upside down or in Pig Latin, and without missing a beat.  But simply repackage it into smaller boxes and I'm a stumble-bum.  I have no feel for how long anything will take.  Worse, I feel like I am constantly rushing.

In fact, everything about this new semester seems disorienting.  I had to change offices over the summer.  Before I was so tucked away in an empty corner of the college that colleagues rarely dropped by and my students needed a topographical map to find me.  Now I'm on a well-traveled hallway and find that all manner of people stop to chat on their way in and out of the building. 

The college has also set an all-time enrollment record (second largest first-year class in its history).  Tuesday, while walking across campus at 11:00 am, the place almost felt like a big university.  The streets were crowded with rushing professors and students; the bell on the bell tower was even chiming away.  This semester, too, I'm in classrooms I have never taught in before.  Something has changed.   Not sure what, though.  Maybe it's just all the new faces.  Last week, during the all school opening meeting, I counted the number of people in the room who were here when I arrived 21 years ago. 

For the first time, that number was in the single digits. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Two Jars

The Betrayal of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Adverbs

Four Arguments for the Elimination of the Liberal Arts