By the time my alarm
began its obnoxious beeping I was already wide awake and aware of the all too
familiar knot in my stomach. I always get nervous on the first day of classes.
As I lay in bed I
mentally ran through my schedule. It was a bit different than usual this
semester because it didn’t allow for my two guilty pleasures, spending Monday
mornings at my favorite downtown hipster coffee shop and Wednesday evening
happy hours. But, I thought that the classes outweighed the few activities that
I’d have to forgo this semester.
After a few more minutes
of thinking about what the day was going to bring, I got out from underneath
the warm covers and headed for the bathroom to get ready. I’d planned my outfit
days ago, light gray pants and my favorite yellow and blue argyle sweater.
Mainly, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to try on everything in my closet (which
always ends up making me late for class).
After getting dressed
and pouring myself a large cup of coffee, I gathered my things off the table
and began packing my bag for the day: laptop, textbook, notebook, various
colors of highlighters, and pens. As I threw my bag over one shoulder, the
blinking light on the printer caught my eye. I walked over, reached down,
grabbed the syllabus I’d printed the night before, and shoved it into a file
Even with warm coffee in
my stomach, the nervous knot had yet to subside. Hoping a little bit of food
would calm my nerves, I stopped at Panera for a bagel.
Once I reached campus it
was bustling with both new and returning students. Students who looked like
they’d walked to class a hundred times, and some who looked like this was their
very first trip across the horseshoe.
I stopped at a bench to
check the room number of my class before I entered the tall square building,
“006” I said out loud as I entered the building and looked for stairs to the
Finally, after searching
for a few minutes I found the room. As I walked through the doorway I could see
that most of the seats were taken.
With a smile starting to
creep across my face I walked to the front of the class, put down my bag,
looked up into their faces and said, “Welcome to Constitutional Law, I’m Professor Jones.”
One of my favorite
things about writing, and teaching, is having the ability to create tension and
plot twists. Whether I am setting my reader up to make erroneous assumptions
about where my characters and plot are going, or leading my class down a rabbit
hole by taking provocative stands on hot button legal controversies, when it
comes to my work, and my lectures, nothing is ever as it seems.