Monday, August 18, 2008

Long day--disjointed ramblings

Today was a muddle of information and acronyms--letters in triplicate, FEMA and FERPA, oh my. New procedures to take into account, a new department to acclimate to. New faculty to meet in an otherwise familiar department. Nothing is truly the same twice.

Tomorrow, new students to get used to as well. New class dynamics to marvel at, new names to memorize, new voices to watch struggle to emerge.

Each semester I teach, so many new things. I learn things--new excuses and antics to be wary of, new behaviors to despair of, new struggles--and on good days, triumphs--to witness, new information to learn of via research papers, new anecdotes to share with those who tolerate my teaching tales.

Each generation of faculty, too, has its own "new" things. Two years ago, I don't think that semester (college) orientations covered what to do in the case of a gunman on campus (with horrific consequence, I acknowledge). Building lockdowns would have been the merest of afterthoughts, and the follow-up questions about how to stay clear of the windows might not have been asked with all somberness. The refrain of "when in doubt, report. Better to be safe than sorry" is a disheartening one when you think about it.

Students have long been afraid of faculty; times change, and the tables turn. Are we safer now than we were, or just more frightened?

...Seriously, I'm more petrified at the sheer bulk and quality of their prose than the remote prospect of their violence...

Now playing: The Mountain Firework Company - the exit's at the back
via FoxyTunes

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