Yes, kids, it is Back-to-School time. Students here moved in to the dorms over the weekend and have been engaged in "Welcome Week" activities. Here at the library we are motivating students academically by passing out cookies and raffling off a teddy bear and a hoodie. Tomorrow is the first day of classes. Traffic woes have begun, as well as the parties. We live next door to a student rental house, and heard the start of the year partying go on last night until the wee hours of the morning. This morning I found a huge empy bottle of Absolute Raspberry on the Devil Strip in front of my yard.
I actually don't mean to give the impression that I don't like having students back on campus. I have, in truth, been looking forward to it. Sometimes the summer can be deadly boring without them, and most of them are respectful and try their best. The student workers at the library are smart and funny and provide great insight and I was glad to see them again.
Nathan's book begins with her introduction to the campus as a student beginning with orientation and "welcome week." As a student she finds much of what she learns quite bewildering. I was actually a bit nervous for her -glad that I wasn't the one having to negotiate all the first day stuff. I was especially interested to read that she had trouble finding her way around campus. As a faculty member she drove from building to building and parked in faculty lots at each. As a student, however, she had to leave her car in one place and walk, or bus, wherever she needed to go. She not only had to find buildings she had never been in before, she sometimes didn't know how to get to buildings she only knew how to drive to. As a "college neighbor" myself, I rarely drive on campus, but I suspect that few of my faculty colleagues do, once they have parked their car. People on this campus tend to walk to meetings. We do have campus bus service, but I don't hear faculty and staff talking about using it. I imagine this is one thing students understand better than faculty.