I taught my first class of the semester on Monday. It felt good — it always does — to be back in the classroom again. New semester, new duties, new responsibilities: the bureaucracy here is the temporal equivalent of a gas, expanding to fill the available time. Which means I don’t have much time for leisure reading, but I’m riding my bike to and from work when the weather permits, and getting up early (5:15) to do PT before going in around 7. I’m trying to do the job stuff when I’m at work — I got some good work done in the office this summer, helping out with a Kairos issue (I won’t mind at all if you tell me how cool that logo is, and — while certainly partial — I really like what Steve did with his article), submitting one article for publication, and working on another, plus two more to go — and leave it behind as much as possible when I come home in the evening, but I know with the first batch of papers to grade, that’ll change. Still, I’m feeling well-adapted: I was one of the lead people working on our FYC curriculum over the past year, so I’m somewhat satisfied with the way we’ve worked the syllabus, and have much more comfort with the mesh between my expectations and my institution’s expectations than I did last year — to be blunt, it’s been a bit of a battle, and I felt like I took some flak last year. This year, I know the ropes, I know the responsibilities, and I know how the cadets are. Again, I love the plebes — the freshmen — because of their openness, their willingness, and their enthusiasm, but it’s also interesting to me that the cows — the juniors — that I taught last semester are now back as firsties with full firstie privileges, so I’ll run into them in their civilian clothes when I’m in town running errands. I’ll be mentoring some cows for the Marshall and Rhodes scholarship applications, and I’m mentoring a senior as a part of a pilot academic advising program, and that feels good as well. So: a new start, and I’m hoping it’s a good one.