Sure, we had to walk through gale-force winds whipping snow through frigid air, but at least everyone was wide awake by the time we got to the classroom. It's always great to have students back on campus, all energized and chatting about what they did over break. Both classes I taught today were filled with students I've known since they were first years; many are seniors coming back to take one last class with me before they graduate. Both classes are electives; students take the course only if they want to take the course, and that is the absolute best kind of class to teach. Both classes are over-enrolled, mainly because I'm a wimp and I always say yes when students come begging to be added, so today I tried my hardest to be mean. I kept saying things like, "If you don't want to do the reading, drop the course." These are students who know me, though, and they found it funny. I'm not so good at the tough guy persona.
I'm an extrovert so after a couple of classes, I felt filled with all kinds of energy. I love teaching. Both classes went over time because we got into such intense discussions. Back in my office, I had a constant stream of students coming to say hello and tell me what they've been doing for the last month. It felt great to be back. I like the hugs, the smiles, the conversations, the enthusiasm of the first day. Later in the semester, everyone will be worn out and tired and whining about courses like organic chemistry, but today everyone was in a good mood. I wrote up a sign with my new office hours for the door, handed out manila folders to all my students, and announced to one and all that I was going to come up with new ways to use index cards in the classroom. A good day.