Field of Science

Fall Semster Approaches

The Fall Semester approaches.  Classes begin next Monday, TPP thinks.  The department secretaries usually remind me.  Everyone in a college town knows this, so the inevitable question arises: are you ready?  Well, of course not!  But TPP is as ready as he needs to be.  You see we're talking students here, and to be ready only means you must be out in front of them, and when it comes to readiness, students are amateurs and faculty are seasoned professionals, wily veterns, fast to the mark and quick off the start (sounds like some olympics influence creeping in).  Now perhaps the questioner intended the question as in, are you ready for a change, ready to get back into the classroom (TPP never ever teaches classes in the summer.)?  No.  There's plenty to occupy my time and interest my mind outside the classroom, and generally you learn more there.  Of course, at the end of the month, this month, there will be that little thing called a paycheck, and for that reason, TPP heads back into the classroom, where if all goes well, a few students get convinced to get out of the classroom and really start learning, and this happens just often enough to be gratifying.  What is not fun are all the other things that start up at the same time: faculty meetings, committee meetings, meetings on meetings, reports, retorts, surveys, and so on, because everyone wants everything from everybody to show that they are important, useful, and necessary, and since each of them is only asking for one thing, they see no problem, and those of us on the receiving end have the first couple of months of the semester sullied by such stuff.  This is without question the worst part of the job.

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