The First Day, The Last Time

Today is strange. Today is the the last time I will ever have a first day of a school year as a student. I will have many first days as a teacher, but this is the last one as a student. I have a certain amount of excitement for this day, but I also know that a huge, long, probably too long chapter of my life is coming to an end. This year brings promise, the promise of a lifelong goal brought to completion. This year brings the beginning of new trials and new triumphs. I don’t believe this year holds everything, but it is a culmination of fifteen years of struggle, strife, and too many lessons learned. I hope I make it through.

I am taking four classes this semester, teaching two, and starting a brand new campus organization. I am sure I have said this several times before, but I am sometimes overwhelmed by the level to which I have extended myself. I think I may finally have gotten in over my head. Because I apparently just keep talking about all of my classes and not really telling anyone what they are, I think I will take a second to do just that. I am taking two creative writing classes, a literature class, and a theory class. My two creative writing classes are Creative Nonfiction (Memoir) and the Theory of Creative Writing. I am taking Native American Literature and Body Theory, specifically Fat/Thin Studies. I think it is safe to say that Jill, who teaches CNF, and Joyce, who teaches the Fat/Thin Studies, have helped me more with my writing than most people throughout my education. For some reason, it seems like they can read you through your papers. I have never had instructors who could tell me about my writing process simply by reading my papers before.

I am teaching two sections of ENG 104: Advanced Composition. Most of my students will be freshmen with a smattering of other levels. I teach on Tuesday and Thursday, so that I have Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to do my own work for classes.

Added on Tuesday:

I will need the time to work because, as I said above, I am starting a new student organization for GLBT Graduate Students. I am currently working with another graduate student to get the organizational stuff accomplished. I suppose I will end up being the president, she’ll be the VP, and we’ll look for a secretary and a treasurer. We had a party at our house during orientation week, and I would say there were about 20 people there total. It was fun, and since there is a decent level of interest for the group, we are going tomorrow morning to get the paperwork filled out. The amazing thing is that there are several faculty members that are excited about the beginnings of this group as well. I even had one counseling psych professor email me to ask how he could help. The difficulty of this organization is the high level of risk/confidentiality that is required. People are always sending hate mail to Spectrum, the undergraduate group, and there is a serious need to keep everything including the names of the members, their photos, and everything else confidential. I mean, who knows if the members are gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, transgendered, or whatever because some members may just have GLBT friends. No one really knows or cares, but future employers might, so the strictest confidentiality ensues. It just makes things a little precarious initially. The only bad thing is that we have to meet the woman at 8AM in the student center. That meeting will make for another long day. It’ll be like a 3 for 3. I am so excited.

I have gotten to school by 9AM on both Monday and Tuesday and haven’t gotten home until after 8PM either night. I am learning that this will be typical this semester. On Wednesday, I will get to campus by 8AM for that meeting and I have class until 6:15PM, so it will be another long day. Thank goodness for vacation this weekend!

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