Setting Out: The First Day of School

Reflection, Post Learning Commons

Every August, the dread creeps in.  I fret over summer's end--the impending loss of my freedom and precious writing time.  But something strange always happens on the first day of school.  I remember all over again why I wanted to be a college professor in the first place.

The reasons are visceral: 

Walking across campus  under a brilliant August sky, a bag of books swinging from my shoulder.  Students hurrying between classes or lingering on the library steps.

Strolling through hushed hallways, past classes already in session.  

Faculty offices with their floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.  Old books that smell of vanilla and must.  New books with deliciously uncracked spines.

Freshly sharpened pencils, brand new Sharpies, and that rapidly vanishing entity, chalk dust.
Look what I found on the third floor of Bellarmine Hall!

The hopeful nervousness of freshmen waiting for their first college class to begin.  

Starting over.  Setting out.  

St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits, beginning his pilgrimage
Moving away from home for the first time, and pondering what to hang on those bare cinderblock walls to illustrate the story of yourself. 

My son Noah sets out on his own journey


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