Saturday, September 03, 2005 ______________________________________________________________________________

Fall Start 

One of the first things that I had to wrap my head around when I moved to Canada was the idea that the year did not begin in January, but in September. Fiscal years were September-August, school years began in the fall, projections were written up just as leaves were falling off trees. I didn't understand it. Why start your year when the world around you has just started to wind down?

This year, however, it seems like my rhythms have accepted that the year starts in the fall. Subtle changes in the air, the slow creep of sunset into the afternoon hours, the re-emergence of coats and sweaters from the back of the closet...as the hot summer days melted into cold drizzling rain and the sun lost enthusiasm, I felt charged, excited, ready to start something new.

Initially, I was surprised. Of late, I have been feeling frazzled and in dire need of a time-out. I have been to the beach only twice this summer, once when I was technically working. I have spent my sunny evenings in the lab, working late and then rushing home to prepare a meal for myself. My weekends have been filled with errands and study attempts with varying success. Week after week of routine and months pass unnoticed. I was dreading the arrival of fall, because I had squandered my summer. Yet when fall arrived, there was no weight in my gut, I felt no sorrow. Fall is here and I am not in mourning.

The conclusion of summer also brought an end to my position as a Research Assistant at the lab. When I walked out Friday, it felt strange to think that next week I will walk into a classroom in the mornings instead of opening the lab. I still have a position there, I have been put in charge of an online course that I helped hash together, but it is only for 12 hours a week, nothing close to the hours I have been logging. I only felt a small sense of loss, which evaporated quickly when I thought about the classes I was about to embark upon.

In addition to the various core courses I have to complete, I will be taking a course from the graduate department (I needed the instructor's permission to take that class - boy did I have to kick and bite to get that OK)and a course in children's literature. I can't recall a year yet that I have been so psyched to kick off. I didn't get the TA-ship that I was hoping to get for Ling 100 due to an oversight, but I suspect that I might still have the opportunity to TA in the second term. At any rate, the online course that I am attached to involves dealing with over 300 students, so I might just have my hands too full.

Also coming up quickly is my GRE date, scheduled for Sept 10th. Which is what I should be studying for right now. Wish me luck.


posted by Joie! at 6:13 PM

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