(This is almost a re-blog of a post I entered a year ago. I touched it up a little for the context of this year, but in the main, it’s an appropriate back-to-school post for just about any academic year).
The ebb and flow of the academy’s calendar has two high-water marks: August when the school year begins, and May when it winds down. Today marks the beginning as the hallways outside the office, dark and quiet since the middle of May last spring, once again bustled with excited students and faculty scurrying from class to class on this perennial day of fresh starts and blooming optimism.
The campus air bristled with excitement, anxiety, and chatter. As I walked by lecture rooms up and down the hallway, one after the other, I heard lofty pontifications arising from lecterns where faculty strove to inspire, motivate, and perhaps scare fresh crops of learners arrayed in rows of desks before them. And what keen observer would ever miss the heavy, palpable sense of late-adolescent hormonal rush as handsome, eligible youth strutted the halls and sidewalks in the timeless gamesmanship of coy flirtation?
So here we are, awash in hope and fear, glossy texts and notebooks stowed in shiny book sacks, ready to assault the base camps of this mountain known as Academic Year 2014-15. Come December, if the muse be kind and inspires us well, we’ll attain the peak, from which we’ll descend in the spring semester to the green valley of May nine months hence. And sweeter yet, about three months after the spring semester ends, this 28 year in public education will end, too, in noble retirement.
The last academic year lies ahead: Hie we hence thereto!