I’m a week away from heading back to work and two from the start of classes for the fall semester, so I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned about how to prepare for the academic year:
- Stock up on non-perishable goods, everything from kitty litter to spaghetti noodles. If you have a plan to eat healthier by cooking on Sunday and freezing the meals ahead of time (for instance), make sure you have a few relatively healthy “cheat” foods so that you don’t end up eating pints of ice cream every night during the week before midterm grades are due.
- Sleep a lot, but don’t sleep later than the time you’re going to need to be getting up during the semester. Nap if you can.
- Get a haircut.
- Make all the photocopies you can now, before one of your colleagues breaks the machine or the toner runs out.
- Practice your meeting face.
- Get your madwoman in the attic used to being fed only twice a day. You won’t be coming home from campus to give her lunch, let alone a guilty second breakfast or linner.
- Make peace with the reality that you are not going to meet your summer writing goals. Decide that not meeting them shows how lofty your ambitions are. This way, you can feel superior to any colleagues who claim to have met theirs.
- It’s not too late to add zombies to your syllabus, especially if you have a section that might not run due to low enrollment.
- Make a rubric for your performance during the semester. Include use of sarcasm as a category.