September, September

I love September: the cooler days and nights, the colors of late-summer flowers, the light, which can be both hazy and very, very clear. And then there’s that back-to-school feeling which I have experienced every year of my life with the exception of a few years ago, when I took a fall sabbatical. It’s a bit different this year, of course, with all of my classes online, but I still got that anxious/excited feeling on the first day of classes this week. Online teaching cannot compete with face-to-face instruction in my opinion, but it can “personal”, in the sense that you are staring right into the close faces (and homes) of your students; pre-packaged presentations can be more thematic and thoughtful than those which are delivered in person, especially with my conversational style. I put a lot of effort into structuring my online courses this summer to compensate for the slapdash efforts of last semester when we had to make rather quick transitions, so I think that my students will be getting a good mix of lecture, discussion, and writing. Still, with all of that said, I miss going back to school in person. But our home is a lot calmer now with the big kitchen renovation completed (big reveal next week: it’s still a bit of a mess), and it’s a good place to teach and write: I am very fortunate. I worked pretty steadily all summer, so I treated myself to a FOUR-day Labor Day Weekend, and the weather was GLORIOUS, as you can really see (I think) in these photos of New Hampshire, Maine, and Salem.

My long Labor Day Weekend: at the Wentworth Coolidge Mansion in Portsmouth on Saturday;  York’s McIntire Garrison (+my Dad) and Jefferds Tavern and some Cape Neddick and Ogunquit Houses on Sunday, on the When and If, the 1939 yacht of General Patton, on Tuesday night: it sails out of Salem in the summer and Key West in the winter.

4 responses to “September, September

  • Nancy

    Wonderful, Donna! What a great escape (and start to your academic year)!
    When I was teaching, the beginning of school was always exciting…and seeing all the new faces. I took special pains in the days before school began to find out how to pronounce their names correctly, and some with tricky names were absolutely both surprised and delighted when I pronounced them correctly. A great way to begin to build that rapport…

  • Francie King

    Absolutely gorgeous photos, Donna! Frame-able! And a lovely reminder to us all to get out and SEE New England in this beautiful season!

  • Helen Breen

    Hi Donna,

    Glad you had such a great Labor Day weekend. Wonderful late summer pics too.

    Wishing you and your students the best in our “new normal.”

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