The fall

I have been getting used to a very different schedule this fall from what I have been accustomed to. For the past few years I have been working on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule, with classes meeting three times a week for fifty minutes. This year I am trying a Tuesday/Thursday schedule, with classes meeting twice a week for an hour and fifteen minutes. It has been quite an adjustment. Tuesday and Thursday are now very long days and I’m exhausted by the end of them, but then I get a four-day weekend to recuperate. Things should get a little easier in the spring when I’ll be teaching a graduate class one evening and fewer classes in a row during the day. On the whole, I’m happy with this schedule– it’s one less day a week that I have to make the commute to Salem, and E. and I now have two days of weekend together, as opposed to the one day we had last year.

I’m teaching Roman History, Barbarians in the Greek and Roman World, and two sections of World History. All of my classes seem to be good groups, which is nice. My Barbarians class is especially good and they make that class a real pleasure to teach. All four classes are scheduled one after another and all are in the same room. I stay in the same room from quarter of eleven in the morning until half past four in the afternoon. I take a water bottle with me and tuck a bit of rye bread in my bag to munch on between classes. The room is on the top floor of the building and gets afternoon sun, so it gets awfully warm in the room. I have usually needed to take a shower as soon as I got home after sweating in that room for hours. We’ve had a long run of unseasonably warm weather lately, too, which just makes it worse.

Despite the Indian summer weather, we are starting to see the signs of fall. The first leaves have begun to change color, the days are shorter, and the nights are cool. The local farm where I go for milk and produce has opened up their apple orchard for self-picking and they have their first pumpkins out on display. I went and picked myself a bag of cortlands last time I was there and next time I mean to pick up a couple pumpkins to cook and freeze for future pies and suchlike.


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