I've been gearing up this past week for a 2nd year teaching high school English here in the south. Though I wish I were more prepared for Monday, I'm looking forward to going back. I have less apprehension (by a long shot) than I did last year at this time. Beth, don't worry: it gets better!
This year I'm trying a few new things. I'll be pushing proper terminology from early in the year (as in the first week) to try and encourage a higher level of discourse about literature. They'll moan, but if I hit it enough throughout the year, they'll know the difference between assonance, alliteration, and an elegy by the end of the year. That would be something.
I wasn't excited about going back, but getting back to campus and seeing the students and coworkers was really good to get me excited again. I think next week will be a good week.
I also spent the evenings finishing The Ruins by Scott Smith. What an odd book. Smith is great writing about the psychological impact of unexpected trauma on everyday people, and some of the tensions in the book were great. But the "unexpected trauma" in this case was just a little silly. It made it impossible to be quite as scared as I was hoping to be.
A couple more pictures of Finn. He's a really good dog. He learned "Sit" in about an hour, though he's not perfect yet. And he's not crazy about the water, but he loves the beach.