I can clearly remember the first day of my first Graphic Design class, several decades ago, at Central. With all our eyes on him, the teacher walked, nervously, toward the blackboard. Sweaty pit-rings bled through his button-up shirt, as the professor lifted his arms to write his name on the blackboard (poor guy). I have always wanted to teach, at a college, in the latter half of my design career. I felt it was my duty to pass on my knowledge to the future creative generation, but I just never thought that day would come so fast.
That’s me, getting my “first day of school” picture taken. I replaced the college backpack, with a proper portfolio tote (thanks Liz), and a nicely written school year blackboard, with my smiling son, by my side. The next chapter of heading to school has arrived. After several weeks of backround checks, paper work to pass in and college tours to complete – I am officially an adjunct professor at Asnuntuck Community College!
Now that I am on the other end of the college experience (and thinking of the professors from my own college years) I started to realize a lot could go wrong on my first day. Unfortunately, this past Monday started off on the wrong foot after hearing about the impending doom coming, from the south, in the form of a Nor’easter. Great. I was also suffering from a cold that I couldn’t quite shake off. Double great. In addition, my nervous habits that I inherited from my grandmother had me envisioning a whole bunch of crazytown scenarios that were going to happen to me – in sequential order:
- Found dead in a ditch before even arriving to class, due to the storm
- Known as “Professor Sweaty Armpits” for the semester (refer to the story, above)
- Arrive at school with the thumb drive that didn’t have my lecture on it
- Unable to work the projector/computer-thingy, which would mean no presentation (then throw thumb drive out the window)
- Forget how to work my presentation
- Forget my own name
- The students and I would sit and stare at each other for three hours
- Known as “Professor Spits”, due to my cold (another college teacher I had)
- Had a sudden uncontrollable sneezing fit all over a student (damn cold)
- The students would fall asleep
- I would fall asleep
- We all would fall asleep
So much worry, but what was I going to do now? Should I just hide under a rock because of a few butterflies? Nope. Instead, I slapped on a whole bunch of clinically-controlled deodorant, triple-checked my class materials in my trusty portfolio, took a handful of cough drops and headed out the door. I arrived at the school (with no ditches in sight) and three hours later the students were dismissed. That’s it. I survived! No sweaty armpits, no big technical malfunctions and no over-powering sneezing jags all over anybody – my first Graphic Design class was behind me (thank God). I will admit, though, I did catch a student dosing off at the end, but it was his first evening class of the semester, so I’ll cut the kid some slack. Just this once. Overall, I felt good about the experience…until I stepped outside.
I, then, hoped there were no ditches on the way home.
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