Tomorrow is the first day of the Spring semester as the cycle of higher academics begins again. The students have been moving into the residence halls over the weekend and will show up for classes in varying ways. Most of the new students will dress their best to make a good impression while most of the old timers will dress for comfort.
Some students will arrive to class early to get a good seat and make sure they don’t miss anything. Some will arrive a few minutes before class with a drink bottle in their hand. Others will come in a few minutes late. Either the new schedule got to them, or they didn’t time their drive correctly.
No matter how they get to class or how they are dressed, the students will be introduced to what the faculty members have been working on. Tomorrow is an important day. It is Syllabus Day and should be celebrated throughout the land. This is the document that lays out the semester and what is going to happen within the class.
The syllabus has all kinds of information. Required reading. Attendance policy. Class rules. However, the students are always ready to skip over to the assignment page. I can almost hear the wheels turning as they look at the page length of papers and the number of tests they will have to take. There are a lot of percentages on there that tell the students how important each item is. Here’s a hint. THEY ARE ALL IMPORTANT!!!
Between classes is also an exciting time. New students are looking for rooms, and old students are hanging out with old friends. Some of them drop by the offices of their teachers to talk about anything other than academics. The time between classes is always. It’s amazing how quiet the hallways get when classes are in session.
The beginning of the semester is an exciting time. Everything is new, and the day-to-day grind hasn’t hit yet. Students are going to hear things that they have never heard before, and teachers are preparing to go over information that they know by heart. Good teachers introduce new scholarship into their classes, but the basics usually remain the same.
This week, I will talk about the post-Civil War period, the Renaissance and the United States of the 1940s. Along the way, I will do what I always do – teach History.