Back to the Future, Part IIIJanuary 21, 2016
Welcome to day three! We’ve tabulated the stacks of syllabi, bought (most) our books, filled the beleaguered backpacks with a steady supply of school supplies and managed not to have a complete meltdown as the full enormity of our collective class loads have become apparent. Congratulations, one and all!
It’s going to be a very busy semester. I’ve gone the Full Monty with 18 badonkabonkers credits and after sitting through each professor’s introduction I can safely state that I will not see the light of a free day until the final toll of the final’s bell is rung from the rooftops of Notre Dame. Until then, you can just call me Quasimodo. Maybe I’ll adopt a nickname, “Quasi”. Start hunching over every so often. Kidding aside, it’s going to be intense. Not in tents. Ain’t nobody got time for camping. Also – bugs.
My professors are brilliant this semester. They’re all English classes and upper division to boot so I’m now dealing with some seriously passionate purveyors of academia. You don’t teach a high number 3000 class without having just a bit of passion or excitement about the material. I even managed to finagle a 4000 level senior class. Interesting note – the professor is the Chair of the English Department and only teaches one class a semester. And she’s teaching ours. It’s something else to listen and watch someone teach on a subject they know damn near everything about – and love it so much they enjoy sharing it through teaching. The passion and devotion in those moments send a charge through my heart and remind me what great teaching can resemble.
The reason I chose the final ‘Back to The Future’ movie as the title of this post is because I had a moment in my math class yesterday where I realized the professor was eerily familiar. From 1999 to 2001 I attended Littleton High School. I recognized him and realized he had been a math teacher during my time there. Shortly after I graduated, he left to do a masters program and was inexplicably invited to the PhD program. And in a serendipitously small world moment, he is the professor for my one and only math class that I have to take. I find these small world moments fascinating because it requires so many different things to occur in both lives for them to collide.
‘Back to the Future III’ is also one of the more beloved movies of the series and it’s a warm cup of hot chocolate when you need some sunshine in your life. And that’s what the introductions to each of my classes has felt like – warm, welcoming and full of wide eyed wonder. I find myself experiencing excitement as I peer through each syllabus and the material I’ll be reading, experiencing and learning.
I know, I’m a gigantic nerd. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.