An acceptable first day. Not a brilliant first day. I probably shouldn't have decided to spend the last half-hour before class reading research about student evaluations, because damn, that stuff makes you feel like there's a lot riding on the first day. It also makes you feel totally inadequate if you're a not-very-expressive introvert who has difficulty pulling off comedy or dynamism in front of a crowd of strangers.
Right, so trying not to think about research on student evaluations, or about the thread on the Chronicle forums last week where there was a general consensus that letting class out early on the first day is Bad, Bad, Bad. Trying, also, not to think about the fact that I'm a VAP in a department that will be running a tenure-track search this year, and so this is in effect a six- or seven-month-long interview. Or about the fact that I totally forgot to tell the Brit Lit class to read the introduction to Beowulf in the Norton anthology and not just the text itself. Oh, and I lent my anthology to a student whose financial aid didn't come through in time for her to buy books, and I fear I may never see it again. Eeep.
It will get better. It will get a great deal better as early as Wednesday, when people will have actually read the texts and we can talk about them. Still, I would like for just once in my life to have a first day that isn't dead awkward and doesn't make me feel like an impostor (though I have no rational reason to believe that the students will think I am an impostor, and I need to remember that).
In other news: I dislike whiteboards. I've bought my own markers because the ones at school barely write, but really, what's the matter with good old-fashioned chalk?