I don't teach on Fridays, so I usually spend the day catching up on grading, cleaning my house, and recovering from the previous four days of teaching. Today, however, the Multi-Cultural student club I advise hosted a clean-up of a park adjacent to our campus. The group of 15 hiked the meandering trails, collecting an array of typical and disgusting items from the hillsides and lakeshore. Afterwards, we gathered on the patio, soaking up sunshine, catching cool Lake Michigan breezes, eating lunch, and generally having a good time.
Tonight was the annual end-of-the-year party, and my friend B and I dressed up and joined the students to dance away the stress of looming papers and finals (every one they write or take, we have to grade. ugh). We left when the music became incomprehensible and bad. I love music of all genres, and I can dance to Britney Spears and Sir Mix-a-Lot, but I will no longer do the Macarena...
Although my stack of grading didn't diminish, I felt like I was *really* doing my job today. Connecting with students. Showing up. Caring. Making our community a cleaner place. Celebrating another academic year.
While I'm exhausted from being "Dr. J" and not just my more natural self (upcoming post about that) and worried about how the state budget will alter my job next year, today I was happy to be where I am, working with the students and colleagues I have.