Summer’s End

Summer’s end is nigh. Or near. Or, in the words of the immortal John Prine, around the bend.

This summer of 2022 was a blur. We moved to a new state. Returned to the midwest. Iowa City: The Land of Hope and Dreams. Milk and Honey. College campuses, corn, and, as of recently, Sam Tanner.

Felt like I didn’t have a lot to do this summer, even as I had lots to do. License plates and health insurance and moving into a new house. That’ll take it out of you. Wind you. Even if you’re a college professor on summer vacation.

Summer vacation as a college professor? Sure, it’s a respite from teaching classes. But the rest of the scholarly work is still there. I’m learning, after seven years as a tenure-track faculty member, that the scholarly work is always there. Make peace with it. Learn balance. Don’t let it take over your life. Easier said than done.

Being a professor is a lot like being a college student, but you never actually get caught up, because there’s always more work. My mentor Tim said that once. As with most things, he was right. That jerk.

So summer’s end is already here. Now what?


There are meetings on my calendar. I’ve written syllabi. Syllabi is the plural for syllabus. Every good college professor knows that. Every one with an English major, anyway. I’ve got the first couple weeks of my courses blocked out. So I’m feeling okay there.

I have a sense for my travel schedule this year, presuming the Coronamonster doesn’t intervene. I’m no fan of traveling for work. But conferences and research beckon.

I’m preparing to enroll in the University of Iowa’s benefits. Throw off the expensive chains of COBRA.

The boys are registered for school in a new place that isn’t quite the old place. So that will be something to figure out.

Getting the ducks in the row for another September. More school. I always write a blog about preparing for school around this time of year. At least as long as I’ve been writing these silly little blogs. I wouldn’t have guessed that I’d be readying myself in the fine state of Iowa last year. But here we are. Hey, I’m an improviser and this opportunity opened up. Go Hawkeyes, I guess. Go Herky. Who’s Herky? This is Herky.

See, these blogs are educational.


I think this makes 19 years in education. Or 20. That’s a long time. And here I am in a brand new place. A brand new school.

I’m eager to get to know the students I’ll have this year. The colleagues I’ll work with. The Lindquist Center in all of its winding glory.

The Lindquist Center is where the College of Education at is housed at The University of Iowa. And the hallways are winding. Rumor has it they were built to keep faculty safe in case of student riots during the campus unrest of the 70’s. I’m not one to tell you if this is true or not, but the hallways are quite haphazard.

Another first day of school in a new place. I’ve grown accustomed to this daunting task. This will be a new thing for my boys. Send thoughts and prayers. I’m hoping for as smooth of a transition as possible. Hoping this will be a good place for us. Thinking that it will be.

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