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A “Revisited” blog post indicates that I reread the original and used AI-assisted tools (e.g., Grammarly) to improve grammar and word choice.

First published 2014/12/13 

The Newf

It was a foggy 5:30 a.m. morning when I let the Newf out for her morning “duties.” This is one of many reasons to drive carefully to Carroll this Saturday at 6:30 a.m. I surely would NOT like to hit another deer—nor would Santa or my car.

Deer Me

I can still see fog outside my Rankin classroom. Thirty-seven years ago, I was in this building giving a sample lecture illustrating how I teach as part of my two-day job interview to become a faculty member at then-called Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. I still have a copy of that presentation and remain at my first and only job, for better or worse. So much has changed—buildings, enrollment, technology, the institution’s name, the organizational structure.  I feel obligated to protect traditions and override institutional historical values, but fewer and fewer here remember them. So many of my former mentoring faculty and staff friends have moved on through retirement or from life. I miss their wisdom but try to preserve their gifts to Carroll.

Ghosts of Christmas's Past

And here I sit, proctoring an 8:00 a.m.Saturday morning’s final exam covering “Statistics and Experimental Design” was taken by students, several of whose relatives (aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters) were former students or advisees of mine. An_Outline_of_Basic__Cover_for_Kindle

Sometimes, they look and behave very young, and I recognize that I am 65 years old. Many other times AssistantsThey keep me young with their energy, willingness to learn, and playfulness. I feel that way, especially in the presence of my student research assistants—four of whom are graduating this year.

It has been a rough semester. I continue to find it challenging teaching three consecutive seventy-minute courses in a row with 10-minute breaks, even when two classes are the same. This year, I co-chair the Planning and Budget Committee (with a delightful colleague and poet, BJ Best).

It has been the Dickens of a task: The Wurst of Times and the Best of Times. Younger colleagues like BJ, though, and the fewer and fewer remaining colleagues from my past reinforce my willingness to stay here and make a difference before departing.

Best of Times, the Wurst of Times

The chimes just sounded—10:00 a.m. Eight students remain. Outstanding students, among whom several, should they wish, might join Dr. Simpson’s Neighborhood as student research assistants.

Carroll’s 2014-2015 theme is “Time.” I just finished reading David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks—it’s time to start grading so I can finish reading The Book of Strange New Things.