Yesterday, I finished the last full week of classes for the Spring 2017 semester at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Next week we will spend the first half of the week wrapping up classes, take a day to prepare for finals, then finish up with final exams and presentations. The semester will finalize at 4pm on Tuesday, May 2nd. More than that, it will mark the end of my first year as a full-time professor! 🙂
As I reminisce over the past 9 months, I just have to smile at all the great memories I’ve already collected. Doing my dream job as a Marketing Professor is all I ever expected and more…. oh, so much more!!
I work with some of the greatest professionals in academia. They have been patient while guiding me into this new and fascinating world of full-time teaching. The environment is so much different from the non-academic world… it’s taken me some time to learn the ropes and adjust to the demands, expectations and culture. Although several of my cohorts have been in academia for decades, they somehow mustered up the ability to remember what it was like to be new to the higher educational world. For that, I’m deeply thankful!!
As for the students at WVWC…. well, there simply is no comparison!! They are, without a doubt, some of the greatest young men and women I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. Oh, there’s always a few bad apples, but I have encountered very few in the hundreds of students with which I have met this past year. Student-athletes abound on our campus with nearly half of the student body involved in sports. But they know their responsibilities and work extra hard to get every job done. Then there are the students involved in choir, theater and band…. spending countless hours preparing for concerts and plays… yet working overtime to earn that A in their classes. And I can’t forget the students who volunteer through their fraternities or sororities, clubs and ‘just because,’ or the students who work part-time while going to school, or who are raising a young child. Every student has a unique and special story that adds brilliant color to every one of my classes.
It’s been a lot of hard work for me… late nights up grading papers and exams; reading over 500 student-written blog posts (that’s just one semester); finding information and statistics to support lectures; searching through mounds of commercials, advertisements, social media post, logos and more to share as examples in class; and answering countless e-mails and text messages from students. But I’ve found time to Tweet shout-outs to WVWC Bobcat teams and players, send motivational texts to students giving presentations, share pictures of classroom and campus activity on social media, lend an ear to students who were anxious and worried about assignments or grades, encourage students as they face difficult life decisions, travel to Washington DC with the ENACTUS team to compete in and WIN a regional competition, and type up a few blog posts. Heck, I even found time to get sick with an upper respiratory infection, bronchitis and inner ear infection. 😦 (Good thing I can multitask so well!)
Through all the ups and downs, this has been a great year for me!! Probably one of the greatest!! I’m living the dream!! I still have a lot to learn about being a professor, a lot of tweaking to do on my curriculum, and constantly be in search of more creative and innovative ideas to enhance my lectures. But with the great cohorts and students at WVWC, I know it’s only going to get better.
Thanks 2016-2017 academic year… it’s been amazing!!!