Future and Past

It’s prospie season, round these parts, and the campus is full of admitted students and their families, who are going to various panel discussions, browsing through department fairs, and attending classes. Both of my classes this morning were prospieful — 7 or 8 in Intro to Digital Media Studies, and something like 20 in Race, Gender, and Science Fiction. It’s great seeing the excitement of these students as they’re pondering the possibilities ahead of them — and it’s particularly nice seeing it right now, with three and a half weeks to go in what’s been a long, hard spring. That’s one of the beauties of this environment, if you ask me: a continual sense of renewal, of looking forward.

The other joy is the return; alumni weekend is in a couple of weeks, and — at least according to the alumni association’s “who’s coming?” list — several of my former students should be showing up. The class of 2003 is a particularly important one to me; they were first-years in my second year here, so they were the first class in which I was assigned advisees. Their first year was also the one and only time I’ve had the opportunity to teach our first-year seminar, and though that class was in some ways a deeply painful one (not least due to its 8.20 am time slot), something like six out of the fifteen students in the class became my advisees, and the seminar itself later morphed into the Race, Gender, and Science Fiction class I’m now teaching.

It’s the circle of academic life, I guess, or something else equally schmaltzy, but boy the sentimentalist in me just loves these moments…

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