As we get close to a month away from classes starting again at UMW, I am working (as I often do in this months long in-between space of spring and fall classes) to hold on to those critical interactions with students which are at the core of why we do what we do in higher ed. It helps that students have been on campus working on summer research, that HS students have been participating in an on-campus summer enrichment program about which I’ve only heard good things, that we have amazing students staying on campus to mentor in-coming students, and that I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a student on her senior thesis over the last two months. It also helps to be working through the course plans for the fall semester and the students I will teach then. [And I know that I have colleagues who have been working with students all summer and those who have been prepping their own classes and writing their own scholarship. And I have other colleagues who have been working hard to orient and welcome those students and support faculty colleagues. I hope they know how much I appreciate that work, and how much our students do too.] I also have multiple opportunities this summer to celebrate—through recommendations and evaluations—the work of multiple faculty-scholars for whom I have incredible admiration.
All of which is to say that I am grateful for my job, my colleagues (near and far), and for the opportunities I have to do this work.