It must be Fall semester. There's a cool in the air, the trees are beginning to turn, the marching band is practicing in a distant field, and the school zone lights are once again flashing around 3:00pm. OK, well, at least the school zone lights are flashing again.
It is the first day of school. Believe it or not, I can't wait to get started. There is something about the first day of Fall semester that feels like we're throwing a party and around 27,000 guests have RSVP'd. No, it's better than a party. It's like Christmas morning to me and I teach five classes, so I get to come downstairs to find the presents under the tree five different times!
I throw open the door to the classroom and there you are! You size me up; I size you up and we're off! Who are you people, anyway? Why are you taking this Psychology class? Whatever reasons you think you may have for taking my class, I know the Real reason in the Big Picture. I am meant to cross paths with you. And you are meant to cross paths with me. For better or worse, the universe has thrown us together. Let's not make things worse; let's make things better. You bring your gifts and I bring mine and hopefully, our dynamic together will enrich our lives and we will part in December better people for it.
I know that might sound schmaltzy to some, but I don't care; I love teaching. I love psychology, and I love teaching psychology at CNM! And I do believe there are no coincidences. So, welcome to our class.
Now, as I size up my class, I wonder who will be the class clown? Please God, let there be one and I hope you will sit up front. Who will dominate the discussions? I hope you will gain more true self confidence by the end of the semester. Where are the perfectionists who take notes with rulers and different colors of ink? I hope you will learn that you are good enough regardless of your final grade. Who among you doesn't particularly care about doing well at all? Maybe you will surprise yourself by being open to loving psychology. Where are the returning adult students, scared to death that it's been "too long" since they've been in school? You deserve a standing ovation. Who will be the lost child and never utter a word the entire semester? You are the one I want especially to See. And how about the "gang member" with the black leather and the tats and the piercings who scares me at first and then teaches me that you, too, are a worried parent or a straight A student?
I get a kick out of all of you. You are each a present under the tree and I look forward to getting to know you. Merry Christmas!