College is Awesome

 A nice place for lunch.

A nice place for lunch.

There are lots of things I should be writing about during this, the first week of class during my first semester on the tenure track. I should write about how surprised I am by my busyness, or about what faculty orientation was all about, or about how difficult it's proving to handle a last-minute teaching assignment change.

But I'd rather just talk about my lunch.

When I've had time, I've taken to eating lunch in the quad here at Lamar University. I was able to today. And as I watched the students streaming about from building to building, thinking about what's going on in their lives, I was hit like a wall by memories of what it was like when I was in their shoes.

I often get hit with nostalgia for my own college days, but rarely do I get it in relation to my students. Maybe it's because I can relate to freshman right now in a way I haven't been able to in a long time. I know what it's like to feel lost and overwhelmed in an exciting, positive way because that's what I'm feeling right now.

This isn't a feeling I managed to replicate as a graduate student. But it's something I really want to hold onto. College is awesome. What our students are experiencing is awesome. I don't know if it's "valuable" teaching-wise, but remembering what a brilliant period in their lives they're going through—I mean, seriously, just go sit in your version of the quad, watch, and remember—is pretty damn fun.

Ken Ward