Today is the start of a new academic year at the Claremont Colleges. I’ll teach the first meeting of my “Intro to Chicanx-Latinx History” class and then I’ll attend our college’s opening convocation ceremony. That makes it a great day to me, but it’s a pretty momentous day in other ways, too.
First off, for those of you who read this blog or follow me on social media, you know this has been anything but a typical summer. Having the brain tumor and surviving the surgery has been a life-changing event for me and for my family. I wish it was something we didn’t have to go through, but we survived it and that’s something to celebrate. I’m happy to be alive and happy to be able to head back to the classroom to the job that I love.
The other noteworthy thing is that this year marks my 30th in higher education. My first 4 years were as an undergrad at Claremont McKenna College. The next 8 were as a grad student at UC Berkeley. And that means this is the start of my 18th year as a tenure-track/tenured professor. That’s kind of crazy to me, not just in a “time flies” kind of way but also because 18 years is a long time!
I’m so lucky to have been a professor of Chicana/o/x Studies at two incredible institutions in that time. And I’m lucky for all the relationships I’ve made in those years. The past few months——as I received cards, letters, emails, and messages from a lot of the people I worked with and taught in those 18 years——I’ve been lifted up by the love and friendship that’s come from that work. I’m here, right now, in part because of the people that have made those 18 years as good as they were.
So thank you! And happy new academic year to me and to you!