17 years! 17 whole years! I’m lost somewhere between how time is progressing so quickly and excitement for a new academic year. Today is the day. The day I begin my 17th year of Life as a College Professor. I have no secret anonymous webpage documenting the hundreds of stories I’ve heard over the years, although someday I might…it would probably give you all a grand laugh, a shuttered look, and plenty of eye rolls. The number of students I’ve had, the number of classes I’ve taught, the number of assignments I’ve written and then graded doesn’t matter. What matters most to me is the positive changes that people will see over this next year, and how I can contribute to that growth.
The subject we study really doesn’t matter to me. It’s the fact that there are all types of people about to begin or continue their college careers, in a bold move to better themselves, better their lives. I have a privileged position in their life, an opportunity to contribute to that betterment, and I do not take that for granted. College is a big deal folks. You all likely know someone, old or young about to begin a new class, a new degree, a continued dream of how they can succeed in this world. Our job today, tomorrow, is to support the people we encounter, our children we are sending off to college for the first time, our friends who are going back to college, our colleagues who are taking a leap and putting themselves back into the classroom so that they can expand their knowledge. They do it for a reason, one that may get lost sometimes along the way amidst inevitable failures that try to break them, but they do it for a change. A change for the better, and they will succeed.
I can’t speak for anyone but myself when saying, I’m happy to be part of their journey and excited for their accomplishments they will indeed have over the next year! And honored.