Today was the first day of winter-quarter classes for me, delayed a bit by the polar vortex this week. As I was walking the halls today it occurred to me that the first few weeks of the quarter feel very much like a blind date. Of course, I don’t mean at all that there is romantic attraction there. I’ve long since reached the “mom” stage of my career, a situation that makes me both happy and comfortable. Instead I was thinking about the fact that I don’t know my students yet. Yes, I know a few names, and I’ve gotten a glimpse into some of their personalities. But overall, I have no idea who they are. The same is certainly true for them, although since I did most of the talking in our first class, they might have a better idea of who I am. Nevertheless we are stuck with each other for the next ten weeks. We’ll slowly get to know each other, but it will take a while. I want them to learn and, let’s be honest, be happy. I’m sure that they would like to at least have me feel positive about them. So we’ll continue to get to know each other better, learning more and more. Eventually, with any luck, we’ll get to the point where we’re comfortable and possibly happy. And then the quarter will end, and it will start all over again. The process is both exciting, a bit draining, and part of the rush of teaching. But I have to admit I’m eager to get past the first few classes, which is the equivalent of the first blind date. It’s just no fun.