I realized this morning when my mother sent me an email saying that my brother had moved to Georgia yesterday that I'd dreamed about that event the previous night. Thinking on it, I had also dreamed about another real event the night before that. I was talking with J online the other day about fall, about this time of year, and how it feels so complex and bittersweet. People, no matter where we live or what we believe, are connected to nature and to the seasons. Some of us more than others, or more consciously, but we all feel it; we feel the days lengthen or shorten. This time of year, we feel the year winding down, the winter (the death) that is coming. The equinox is coming, and Samhain/Halloween/Day of the Dead. The veils between worlds are thinner then than at any other time; past and present, living and dead, "reality" and "unreality" are closer and more entwined, and sometimes overlapping. Things change in the fall. Things end, but more often for me, they begin.
(I will expand that and make it more logical at some point, perhaps, but for now, moving on to an unrelated thought)
First grad class was yesterday morning. It's the Intro to Graduate Study. Intimidating and encouraging at the same time. I thought class went okay; I was afraid I would feel like everyone else was better prepared than I was, but it felt like most of us were a bit overwhelmed, which isn't really a good thing, but it was good not to feel I was the only one. The assigned reading for next week is going to be a chore... Some of it at least. Some should be fun (or fun-ish).
My first day of teaching went well yesterday, and I asked the students to write for ten minutes at the end of class about themselves as writers, their experiences with writing, strengths/weaknesses, likes/dislikes, etc. I just read their material this morning (during my office hour - how cool to be able to say that!) and I must say that I am impressed. I don't know if Penn State really does have higher standards than state schools in Ohio, or if PA high schools are better, or if I just have an unusually skilled section of students, or what, but their writing, even uncorrected, handwritten, in class, is at a higher level than I expected. I am happy! And challenged. Yay!