Saturday, June 11, 2005
The Circle of Academic Life
After a beautifully warm May, June always brings the cool overcast days referred to as "June Gloom." These are some of my favorite days of the year. The landscapes are beautiful as the many colors of the blossoms dance on trees and hillsides (and haven't turned to the summer "brownscapes" yet), the weather is still cool (but not cold), and the air feels clean and fresh (not yet hot and stifling).

I began teaching the summer term at the local university today. In summer I have the pleasure of teaching the weekend format (every other Saturday for eight hours) as opposed to the weekly evening classes (for four hours). As my students process the material in small groups, I can't help but daydream and stare out the window. The view is breathtaking. In the background is the backdrop of the local mountain range, green hills, and lush vegetation. In the foreground are the tree-lined streets and the Jacaranda trees dotting the greenbelts. The purple blossoms leave a delicate purple carpet of petals below the trees. In the distance, the clock tower chimes on the half and gently on the quarter.

There is something about the hope each new term brings. I love academia. I love the excitement of the first day of class and all the new supplies and freshly copied syllabi. It is always a new start and fresh beginning. What other job offers that iwth the same frequency? It always makes me wish I could afford to do this full time.

In a couple of weeks, reality will set in and someone will challenge my grade without cause or try to sell me a lame excuse that I honestly have heard at least six times before. And I'll look forward to the end of the term.

It never overshadows the first day of the term or the amazing things that happen in the classroom or the wonderful transformation that so often happens in the two years of grad school. I'm lucky that I have this opportunity to gaze at the blossoming Jacarandas and the blossoming students.

Fall is certainly my favorite season, but these first two weeks of June are very close behind. Everything always seems like it is going to be all right.
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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    "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12