What a joy it is to meet the new (and reconnect with the continuing) graduate students. Last week there were three days of grad orientation for the incoming MAs and PhDs. Part of what we (faculty) do is give a 3-4 minute description of what our graduate courses this year will be about. It’s one of the parts of orientation that WE like a lot, because, as Professor Randy Harris noted, it’s when we get to hear what our colleagues are doing in their courses, and it reminds us of when we were graduate students just starting out. Most of us come away from that session saying “I wish I could take that course! Sounds amazing and exciting and challenging.” The thrill of that intellectual challenge is what brings us to graduate school in the first place, and it’s also what forms our lives as academics. That wanting to know more. That privilege of learning from others.
To cap the orientation we have a beginning-of-term party. This year it was held in the foyer of a newish building on campus that I have never set foot in before: the Centre for Environmental and Information Technology. It is a gorgeous building (those of you who know our campus will know how ambivalent many of us feel about Hagey Hall; I for one am jealous of those new buildings). The appetizers and snacks were lovely. The vibe positive. But best of all was getting to chat with some of the new students. One of the things that is happening in our department is that we are becoming more international. I talked to students from Iran, Singapore, Bosnia, and Pakistan–as well as students from way the heck up north and way out west!
I meant to take photographs for the blog, but I forgot. As my husband says, being the departmental blogger seems also to mean being a girl journalist, always having a recording device at hand. Oh well.
Term begins tomorrow. And off we go!