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It’s the going back that makes me happy.

Spring semesterStarting the spring semester saves me from the post-holiday, post-fantasy football, winter-time blues. Just when I start to get all down and out, here comes spring term to lift me back up again.

This past weekend I stripped the house of all our holiday knick knacks, trinkets, and chotskies. If you know me, you know that’s a three-day undertaking. And the result of doing that always leave me a little blue. Suddenly, the mantle isn’t lit. The giant tree no longer fills the wall of windows. The lighted houses and statues don’t warm the living room in the evening. And, I admit it, I get a little depressed.

It doesn’t help that fantasy football is over, too. I’m not tracking stats, watching games with sweet anticipation mixed with a little dread, and hoping to make those wonderful playoffs (this year I say “wonderful” because I actually made them). This, too, is gone for another year, leaving me feeling just a little saddened.

My first instinct is to ease the end-of-year blues with the delicious chocolates I pulled from my stocking Christmas Day, but then I realize, hey, wait a minute. I have classes to prep for. So, I start slowly trying to figure out what to plan, keep, and dump (and this year I sought your help for that). I sift through syllabi and lessons, searching for the successes. And, I start to feel better. Productivity makes me happy.

I started classes again today with a fresh set of composition students. Tomorrow, I’ll start with a new set of engineers. Next week, a whole slew of them with four additional classes. It feels really good. I enjoyed walking across campus this brisk morning in the wake of the Polar Vortex. It felt really exciting to review the list of new faces on the class rosters (and, I even teach in a new building for me this term). The nerves of a first day are reassuring that life goes on after all the mess and chaos of the holidays ends. Not to say the mess and chaos are bad. As I said, seeing them go depresses me a little. So, it’s good to know a new term, a fresh start, is right on its heels.

So, once again I feel rejuvenated not by the break itself, but by the start that comes after it. I’m looking forward to a great spring term, and I hope you are, too.

P.S. Check back with me on my enthusiasm in a few weeks.

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