This was my first experience as full time faculty at the beginning of a semester. Here is what I learned, in no particular order.
1. Holy hell.
2. No matter how ahead you are at the beginning of the week, you will behind by Tuesday.
3. Triage is not just for hospitals; it also occurs in lines outside of offices. She who is crying comes in first. She who has class in five minutes comes in next. Eventually, the line will be gone, but by the time you start a project it will reappear.
4. Holy meetings, Batman.
5. You really only need to have a syllabus and be one chapter ahead.
6. Keep a back-up box of tissues in the office.
7. Schedule changes happen, hit the fan, you get the idea.
8. I am exhausted--physically and emotionally.
9. There is a certain adrenaline rush combined with an emotional rush to the start of the year. Freshmen are teary because they are starting something so new. Seniors are teary because it is the beginning of the closing of a chapter. Faculty are nostalgic for the whole story, teary with the freshmen who become our babies, teary for our seniors who have grown so much and will soon leave the nest.
10. As insane as it all is, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now.