This time of the year has always felt more like the start of the new year than the actual start of the new year in January. There’s something about closing out an academic year in May, reflecting and renewing through the summer, and starting fresh in August that I’ve always found to be very rejuvenating. I am more apt to create new goals (or resolutions if you will) in August then I am in January. It’s a fresh start, a new wealth of possibilities, and a world of opportunity right at my fingertips.
I firmly believe that this probably only occurs in academia and the rest of the world is just trying to make it through to the holiday seasons. However, I intend to celebrate the new academic year with as much gusto as the rest of the world demonstrates on December 31.
Kevin Gannon (@TheTattooedProf) has provided exactly the inspiration I need to do just that. His blog post “Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto” was exactly what I needed to read in early July as I was lamenting how quickly the summer had gone and how much I still needed to do to prepare for the new academic year. It reminded me of why I teach and what I want for my students. It also made me want to write my own manifesto – probably a task for next summer – for now, Gannon’s works well for me and was the inspiration I needed to kick off the new semester with a bang. I hope it does the same for you as well.
Good luck on the new semester and remember why we teach!