This is my twentieth year teaching at Clarkson & my twenty-sixth year teaching, not counting graduate school. Yesterday I met my first classes for the semester, which is going to be a busy one. In going over the syllabus with each class, beginning to lay out the themes we're going to develop, I felt a rising excitement, a sense of renewal. Yesterday, I met my upper division Imagining Science course & my survey, The Literature of American Popular Music. I don't want to come across like a motivational speaker here & I'm sure I'm going to have days when I come home cursing, but when I was done yesterday I was happy. I'm good at what I do, which makes me happy; but the realization that I get to spend the next sixteen weeks talking about things I love -- that makes me happy. Selfish? Sure, but the best moments yesterday were when I posed a couple of questions & got a couple of responses, even on the first day. Those responses give one a tentative sense of the particular class & its possibilities. These initial impressions will no doubt be revised as the semester progresses (& of course the students are constantly revising & reevaluating their impressions of the teacher), but I was very happy yesterday, driving home. Now I just have to finish getting the course weblogs organized this weekend & finish writing the syllabus for my third class, Modern American Poetry, which meets Mondays & Wednesdays. Yes, for the first time in twenty years, I have three preps. It may kill me, since I am also serving on a Middle States Self-Study subcommittee as well as substituting on the Faculty Senate (an old stomping ground) for a colleague on leave.