Why do they call it SPRING semester? We will have snow on the ground for most of the semester. We'll be lucky if we get a few nice days somewhere near the very end. It's really winter semester, at least where I live.
I love buying new office supplies. A new stack of yellow legal pads, new reams of paper for the laser printer, a new box of pens, a new box of folders. I buy lots of plain manila folders, but I also get a box that are red, blue, green, and yellow because I color code my courses. I've done this for years, so even though my office is jammed full with stuff, I can glance through a pile quickly, and pull out all the green folders that I used for the Green Course other years. Tonight, I've lined up three new clean green folders for the Green Course. One folder for the class roster and stuff I want to do that day, one folder for student papers, and one folder for the syllabus, handouts, things like that. Tomorrow, I'll work on the Red Course.
The first job I ever had was working under the table as a legal secretary when I was about fourteen. That began my lifelong addiction to yellow legal pads. At any given time I have 4 or 5 yellow legal pads on my desk, with different lists on them.
About guilt. New Kid was talking about how she feels guilty adding books she hasn't read to a course. What's funny is that I am feeling guilty because I am using all stuff I've read and taught before. I read a lot to keep on top of what is getting published in my area, and most years, I add at least one book to each of my literature courses, dropping some book that is kind of outdated. Last spring, I added a couple of new books that worked really well so this year I didn't make any changes. I feel guilty when I don't make changes. One nice thing, though, is that I am having fun rearranging what I am going to teach and that is soooo much easier to do since I've taught it all before. I do always reread everything the night before I teach it. That's part of the job that I like. I get paid to read great books, always ones that I've chosen.
Always when a new semester begins, I have this sense of getting a new start. I can rewrite the syllabus. I get new students. I can vow anew not to procrastinate when grading papers. I make plans to reserve more time for writing. I love the academic calendar because it offers so many chances for a new beginning.