In two more weeks, I’ll be teaching at a new (old) school. I’ll be back at the University of Central Oklahoma, teaching in the place where I learned to teach writing.
I’m excited and nervous. This will be my heaviest teaching load, to date. And I’m still working on that dissertation.
This week, all my friends and peers back at Oklahoma State are attending orientation, or figuring out their schedules before they start teaching next week. This time last year, I was leading portions of orientation, taking on my role as one of the assistant directors of the Writing Center. A couple years before that, I was leading orientation as an assistant director for the First-Year Composition program. I’ve attended more full weeks of orientation that the average graduate student at Ok State, because of all the administrative roles I’ve taken on.
This year, there is no orientation. I’ll be attending a university orientation for part time faculty, but it’s not a department specific training. It’s strange, because orientation, for me, was one of those times I looked forward to and dreaded in equal measure (well, most of the time; Sometimes dread won out). Part of that was due to my active role in orientation. I love to talk about teaching. Love it. Ask anyone. I talk about teaching given the slightest opportunity. So that always added an element of joy for me, when orientation week came around.
It feels a little lonely, knowing I’ll start at UCO without the bustle of the fourth floor of Morrill Hall, without hearing the new voices and old intermingling.
I’m feeling nostalgia, I know. I realize that the memories right now are a little rose colored. But I can’t help missing the place I spent the last 6 years of my life, no matter the mixed bag of memories and emotions that come with it.
Two more weeks, and I’ll be back to the classroom and I feel more oriented. But right now, without my usual orientation week I feel just a tad bit disoriented. (sorry, couldn’t help the word play.)