I don't know why it was particularly difficult to return to the regular business of the academic year, but it was today. I suppose knowing the day would end with a meeting cast a bit of a pall on things, but I was having a hard time adjusting back to the public sphere of the classroom after spending so much time writing this summer. Maybe that had something to do with enjoying myself less at Pi-Con, too. I just wasn't ready to be in the midst of the swirl after a week of solitude at Domus Crispini.
But the schedule I chose for this semester threw me right into the thick of it. Two classes back to back, a slight break (which will be office hours after today), then the third class and department meeting. It's always a little nerve-wracking to walk into the first class of the semester but today I felt especially ill-prepared and lacking in confidence. It comes back -- that's the good thing, I suppose -- the song and dance, the re-telling of the stories.
I had to go through the introduction to Anglo-Saxon England with my Powerpoint slides (including the Simpsons and Angelina Jolie) twice today. As usual, my voice was giving out by the third class, despite two thermoses of tea. My final class is the one with the most potential for participation (what makes a class energizing rather than draining), although the other two might prove to have some liveliness. But the upper division courses tend to have students who are more independent and likely to want to have their say. Fingers crossed.
Tonight, we relaxed with the Joe Strummer documentary (review coming soon). Tomorrow I'll need to actually get the schedules spelled out on Blackboard (our support software for the classes), a tedious process that I avoid for as long as possible. I have to plan my work schedule, too. Teaching takes a big chunk of time, so it's important not to let the writing get lost in that process. Goals and deadlines are essential, otherwise you look up and suddenly it's the end of the semester.