Today I’m taking a break from writing papers, getting ready for the Winter quarter. One of the first things I do before the start of the quarter is check the roster to make sure that students have ended up in the right class. Sometimes they haven’t taken the prerequisite or haven’t earned a passing grade in it if they did take it, and I need to tell them to re-take the previous class. Sometimes, especially with the Python classes, they’ve taken too many programming classes to benefit and I have to shoo them into other, more advanced courses.
All of this involves a careful look at my roster, and every time I find myself with a sense of anticipation looking at the list of names. In the second Python class a lot of the names are ones I recognize, and I get excited about the prospect of seeing them again. For the accelerated Python course that is new next quarter I only recognize one name, so instead I wonder what the students will be like. Will they be talkative? Will they need coaxing to interact? Will they get as excited about Python as I did the first time I saw it? Will they put up with my terrible jokes? The start of a new quarter is always fun, and the anticipation of it all is part of that.