I taught my first class at my new campus this evening. Teaching is such a ridiculous high. This is the fifth year I've taught this particular class and I love that I know it inside and out.
At the beginning of the class period, I had all twenty-five students line up behind a piece of painter's tape on the floor and pointed thirty paces ahead of them at another line of blue tape. I began rattling off terminology, things they will know by the time we are done. For each item they knew, they took a step forward. No one moved forward more than seven paces. "That," I told them, gesturing to the distance between them and the finish line, "is the intellectual distance we have to cover this semester."
I love using the space as a metaphor this way. They know that they will be inching ever closer to that finish line, class by class. It also keeps me honest. I know that they are reliant upon me to help them get there. I can't help but love the sense of urgency.
(Above photo from an installation at the Louisiana State Museum's exhibit Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond. Amazing exhibit.)