The 2022-23 academic year begins today at the Claremont Colleges.
Maybe it’s the historian in me, maybe it’s the incessant storyteller, maybe it’s the habit that helps compensate for the middle-aged memory, but my annual “tradition” is to mark each new academic year in the context of my life (and my time).
And so, this is my 21st academic year as a full-time, tenured/tenure-track professor. Overall, it’s my 33rd consecutive year in higher education (including 4 years as an undergrad at Claremont McKenna College and 8 as a grad student at UC Berkeley).
I’m grateful for every single one of those past years, and even more grateful for the ones still ahead. I feel so lucky to be a professor, and to work in a place that is structured to embrace each year as a new beginning.
What I feel the most grateful for are the relationships––the short ones that last for only a class; the ones that have lasted for 20-30 years; or the many, many others in between. Relationships with other people have been the best part of life, and certainly the best part of my job.
For those of you reading this now who fit into any one of the above categories, all I can say is “thanks.” And no matter where you are, or whatever calendar you live by, we are all learners. Happy new beginning to you!