Tomorrow I am back at work after two months off. I work on a 10 month contract and I don’t know of a job with a better rhythm. The past two months have probably been the most uneventful I’ve had since beginning this work 12 years ago. It had one huge event on July 1. Our son Joel got married to Breanne. Everything else has been kind of anti-climactic. The celebration continued by hosting family for a few weeks after that, we went camping locally a few times, puttered around the yard, took in some community events, had a couple of speaking engagements, and watched alot of Olympics. I did not do alot of reading or writing as I sometimes do in the summer. It was a pretty lazy summer.

Going back to work in August always comes with a mix of emotions. It means leaving behind the lazy days of summer and engaging for the fall semester. I’m passionate about my work and so I look forward to the arrival of students and invigorating lectures and conversations in the classroom. I’m starting my 13th year of teaching at Columbia but I’m still nervous about going back. New faces and changes will greet me tomorrow and in the coming weeks.

I usually go back at least a day before I have to and tomorrow is no different. Our opening retreat is later this week but I appreciate a day at the office to empty my inbox, make a “to do” list for the next few weeks in preparation for the semester, and converse with office staff who did not have the luxury of two months away. The weather is warm and dry so I also look forward to biking in the morning. I have done a fair bit of recreational biking over the summer but now I change into commuting mode.