I've traded in mountains for bluffs. My days as a CU student have ended and the ones as an Adjunct Faculty member at Winona State University (part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system) in beautiful Southeastern Minnesota have begun. I am already enjoying my teaching, getting to know a new institution and building new routines in my life.
On Sunday night, I picked out my back to school outfit, but this time not as a student, or as a student and teacher, but as a teacher alone. I got to thinking about this on my first drive down on Monday, and realized that this line of thinking actually isn't accurate; aren't we ALWAYS teaching and ALWAYS learning, no matter what label we are given or give ourselves? It is with this consideration that I approach my first school year as Adjunct Faculty at WSU.
I'm teaching one of the three sections of Dance Appreciation class and the Intermediate/ Advanced Modern class and am creating a new piece on student dancers for their annual concert in February. My spring schedule is yet to be set. I realized along the process of creating my syllabi and course calendars that part of what is attractive about this kind of work is that it asks you to be constantly redefining your values on the subject you are versed in and care about. I loved writing these documents; they speak proudly to my systems of value surrounding dance. It is also intriguing to be a Minnesota State employee; I've had to do mandatory trainings, I've been assigned to a union and I'm sure there will be more where all that came from as I move deeper into this experience. I am already so stimulated.
Additionally, the HR and other administrative folks have been so friendly and helpful. I've already identified a couple super-engaged students and am excited about my classes. It feels good to be back in the teaching saddle. The drive is beautiful and gives me time and space to contemplate. I am already starting to figure out how my hours can provide a sense of normalcy (from there, I'll need to figure out normalcy - or at least routine - with diet and exercise, and with my personal life and artistic life in the Twin Cities and beyond). Some more images of my new half-of-the-week home:
First day of school outfit!
One of the views from my drive: beautiful and GIGANTIC Lake Pepin :)
Folks heading to class through the green green campus
The mighty library
Monday, the day I took these, was overcast; I'll have to pick a sunnier day to get some good ones of the lake that encases many side of the city and the Performing Arts Center and Memorial Buildings where most of my work takes place. It really is a beautiful area, city and campus. I'd really like to write more when I am in a more contemplative mood; the original one inspiring this post has passed and I am in self-preservation mode as I look to simultaneously enjoy myself and make it through while the state fair and school overlap for two weeks.
I look forward to seeing how these adventures play out and sharing more when the time is right.