The first week of year 14 is in the books, and week two begins tomorrow, so here’s a little of this and that.
The beginning of term is of course a time of first impressions, as I meet my classes and vice versa. At a school like Mondoville, I do a fair amount of repeat business, but even in a class of some familiar faces, the class will take on its own unique personality. Having spent a couple of meetings with each of my three classes, I’m optimistic. The freshpeeps seem more energetic than I’m used to in an 8 a.m. class, and while some of the kids in my 7 Deadlies class (also an 8 a.m.) class may be a little logy, I can already tell I have some live ones. My other class is a majors-only capstone course, so the passion for what we do is guaranteed.
My only concern at this point is that the 7 Deadlies class may be a touch overpopulated, with 24 kids. However, they’re reading Aquinas on the Virtues this weekend, so the herd may have thinned a bit by Tuesday. We shall see. Still, my first impression is that this could be a fun semester. We’ll see if that survives the term’s first faculty meeting tomorrow afternoon.
I continue walking, having logged another 20-mile week this past week. I had been maintaining a steady 3.7-mph pace for the past several weeks, but for the heck of it, I finally decided to see if I could pick it up to 4 mph, the reputed pace of the Roman legions. I’m pleased to report that I managed to do that for the full week, even exceeding it for a few minutes each hour. Bring on the Ostrogoths — if they’re at the other end of the treadmill, and no more than an hour away.
I also spent $25 in entry fees for the Mondoville “Run with the Wolves” 5K run/walk (I’m in the “Walk” category, thanks), which will take place on 15 October. So I guess I’m committed to that, now. And tomorrow starts another week.
One of Mondoville’s rituals is the convocation that marks the beginning of the academic year, and this year’s version took place on Friday. The freshpeeps are welcomed by the administration and a few local dignitaries (the mayor, for example), and they recite a pledge to be good members of the College community. The whole business takes place in the chapel, and it’s a nice tonesetter.
I got a little extra kick out of this year’s ceremony, however, as the Spawn is serving as one of the Student Marshals this year. The Marshals lead processions, escort the dignitaries to the platform — that sort of thing — and they are selected by virtue of their GPAs. She is listed as one of two Marshals from the junior class (although this is only her second year of college, she has accumulated enough hours from stuff like the classes she took in high school to count as a junior. However, she has no plans to graduate before her “traditional” date of 2019. While the Registrar lists her as a junior, she considers herself to be sophomoric, and who am I to disagree?), and helped lead the faculty processional and recessional. I have to admit it pleased me to see her standing by my pew in the faculty section as I moved to take my seat. I’m already looking forward to the Founders’ Day convocation as the term draws to a close — which may be the first time that sentence has ever been uttered.
The Spawn is proving to be quite the hit, actually. She has decided to add a second major (in History), and the good people in our Honors program have agreed to let her double up on some classes to allow her to participate in the 2019 cohort of the program. Numerous members of the faculty have told me she’s a terrific kid. I knew that already, of course, but it’s nice to get independent verification.
In a few minutes, she’ll be heading to some sort of pre-recruitment function for her sorority. She said yesterday how glad she is to be at Mondoville. I’m glad she’s here as well.
Evidence that our little town is growing up: The college hosted the opening of a Chick-Fil-A unit in the student center snack bar, and it was reportedly the busiest opening for a college location in the chain’s history. I don’t go there, but that’s because they cook with peanut oil, and while the Spawn’s allergist says it’s probably not a threat, I choose to err on the side of conservatism.
In other fast food news, preparations have begun for the construction of a Taco Bell on Main Street. When this was announced at the convocation, it was greeted with a spontaneous burst of applause. Mondoville’s previous Taco Bell shut down six years ago, and I’ve long said that a town that can’t support a Taco Bell is destined to be a Duckburg. Even Mrs. M’s hometown of Wide-Spot-in-the-Road, KY has a Taco Bell, for Pete’s sake. And soon, so will we. Again.
And to wrap things up, here’s a bit of music.
The Model Rockets are (or were — I don’t know if they’re still a going concern) a nifty little powerpop outfit from Seattle. Maybe it’s the Mellotronic flutes, or maybe it’s the lyrics, but I’ve always liked the sound of this tune. From 2002, this is “The Dress Up Girls.”
See you soon!