professornana (professornana) wrote,

Beginnings and endings

There were baptisms at church today. And the priest also gave a stirring homily about the loss of one of our parishioners. He mentioned alpha and omega and beginnings and endings. I have been musing about this quite a bit of late. No, not in the maudlin way. But I have been thinking about the waxings and wanings of my career. And I am also thinking about our first department meeting tomorrow, one in which I am the senior faculty member. One where we welcome two new professors just beginning their careers in higher education.

It makes for a wonderful department. I know when I was the newbie, it was not the same as it is today. Back then, there was a great deal of formality. Also, competition was ever present. I was often made to feel as though my degree were somehow less than others (EdD vs PhD). Thankfully, that has changed. Instead of competitive, we cheer one another's successes. We mentor. We look for ways to bring the newbies into the tenured fold.

I cherish these last few years of teaching. I love the new folks who have come on board. I think this year will be not only one with successes but one with JOY along the way. Finishing up a career in a position where joy and laughter and happiness are more important than degrees, vita, and such makes us more of a family and less of a department.

So, yes, I am nervous and excited about that first day back tomorrow and all the other days to come.
Tags: beginnings, endings
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