First day of class

I found myself getting nervous before heading up to Crookston to teach today. The first day is always a time when the class is stiff and uncomfortable and most attempts at humor fall utterly flat.

Leo, the Brazilian living with me who has worked at the nursery since March, has decided to go to UMC for fall semester, so he went along to register for classes.

First thing in each class I announced that class would not begin until all laptops were closed and put away. No objections, no response. The laptops went away, and bingo, I don't have to deal with that frustration this semester! I had been afraid that somebody would claim that they were unable to take handwritten notes, or something like that.

I took pictures of all the students standing beside their name on the chalkboard. I wish I could post some of them, but I had better not use them in that way. Instead, I am looking through them over and over in hopes of learning the names of the 60 students by the time the next class rolls around Friday.

My appearance in front of class was a rude surprise to one student. He had flunked the class when I taught it two years ago. He thought I was unfair to him at the time. He was now taking the class again and had no idea that I was substituting for the teacher listed in the class schedule.

So, I had a good time with that, telling him he would be free to leave if he didn't think we could get along. I think he'll do fine this time. Perhaps he won't go hunting instead of showing up for the first test as he did last time.

It was invigorating to be back in school! I was surprised at the rush the first day gave me. I walked up and down the crowded hallways like I was doing something important for about half-an-hour before class just to kill time and soak up the atmosphere.

My classes contain close to a dozen football players who right away announced they will be gone seven Fridays this fall. What do you do with that? We're supposed to accomodate them. Poor guys, they aren't here to learn history, they are here on scholarships from Los Angeles and Miami and downtown Minneapolis to play football. How can you blame them for not caring about anything else?