Yesterday was the first day of the term here at Western. Classes official began. Classes start on Thursday, a rather odd day when you think about it, of the first week mostly so students don’t spend the entire week partying.
The first day of school always make me think of academic journeys, where they begin and where they go. I started in Journalism at King’s College, Halifax, and then moved on to Political Science at Dalhousie and then switched to Philosophy (also at Dalhousie.)
I’ve been in Philosophy Departments for a very long time, from end of undergrad to grad school in Chicago, and a 22 year teaching career in Philosophy at Western after that.
This fall, although I’m still teaching Philosophy courses, I’m starting in a new department at Western, Women’s Studies and Feminist Research. The journey continues! I can now supervise students in 3 departments at Western: WSFR, Philosophy, and Political Science. It feels like a start to a new stage in my academic career.
I’ve written before about new routines and back to school. While I’ll certainly miss weekday daytime bike rides–they’re a summer thing for me–I also like the regular rhythm and schedule of the academic year. I’ve always loved September. This one especially is a lovely mix of old and new.
A friend calculated how many first days of school he’d had in his lifetime. For me it’s 13 years of elementary through high school, 5 years of undergrad (I moved around a lot, see above), 5 years of grad school, and I’m starting my 23rd year of teaching at Western. So this September is my 46th first day of school. (I didn’t subtract sabbaticals.)
Here’s my very first day of school.