Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Changing seasons

At 7:45 this morning, dressed like the 50-something, slightly quirky professor that I sometimes pretend to be, I grabbed my laptop bag, various bits of professorial paraphernalia — neatly bundled into a furoshiki — and my lunch and headed to morning Mass and Lauds, and from there, on to my office. I'd already put a trio of plants in the car, ready to take up residence once again in my office. My sabbatical is officially over.

Some things have changed. I have a new computer. A new colleague. Sodas in the student lounge cost a quarter more (necessitating a trip back to my office for another coin). The mailboxes have moved. There is a vegetable garden in the courtyard outside my office.

Some things have not. Students are still hunting for the elusive stairwell that will take them to the 3rd floor (there are eight in the building, but only three of them go up to the library level). Faculty are counting heads and seats to see if they match up. (I was 10 seats short in my intro chem course, at least until a colleague with a smaller class was willing to trade classrooms with me).

It felt good to catch up with colleagues, to dust off my desk and recycle outdated papers. To bring some life back into my office with plants.

It's my 28th year of teaching, and I'm grateful to have a job I still love as much as the day I began.


  1. You are indeed blessed. Your students are the real benefactors of your grateful attitude as they sense your passion for teaching and for the material that you teach. Have a wonderful year.

  2. I've been thinking about you and your return! What a lovely post to inform us of it all. The staircase thing makes me smile, I'm not sure why.

  3. Excellent! Glad that the year has begun well--and you could have WAY worse than a veg garden outside your window. :)

  4. Lovely post! So glad you enjoy it and what a lucky bunch of students!

    I look forward to your posts about re-entry!

  5. Now that you are back.
    1.- Are you interested in a version of your Introduction to Quantum Chemistry video casts compatible with the Ipad?

    2.- Would you accept a few "errata" (or I should say "few" errata) and comments to your book "A Survival Guide for Physical Chemistry"?

    Thanks for the attention

    Rafael R. Pappalardo

    1. Rafael,

      I'd be interested in both, but a fuller conversation would be easier via email. Can you send me an email? mfrancl@brynmawr.edu