Yes, the new semester and new academic year started yesterday, and today saw my first class of a new course for me to teach – Physics 508b: Advanced Electricity and Magnetism. The bad news is that it is a new course for me and so I have to write new material, plan new things entirely, and generally put in a lot of raw preparation from scratch for some things. The good news is that it seems that I have, overall, a good group of students to teach, based upon the willingness to interact that I saw, with good humour, good questions, interjections, and so forth. Further good news is that I’ve an excellent TA for the course (who also does research with me and so we can go back and forth from teaching matters and research matters) and that I’ve taught Physics 408b for a few years. The latter is an undergraduate advanced E&M course (based on Griffith, in case you’re wondering), and while this 508b course (based on Jackson) is heavier in detail and depth on the same material, I can borrow some of the more challenging material from the undergraduate course and deepen it a bit for use in the graduate course, so I will have a little bit of core stuff I can reach for at times. Excellent.
It is great to be back in the full swing of things on campus with all the students back, the new arrivals here, and everyone is all enthusiastic and fresh, new and optimistic…
There’s a good feeling in the air these first few days of semester, and there’s a lovely type of sunlight in the city in the mornings and evenings that I love at this time of year.
All around the campus, you hear people asking “How was your Summer?” in a way that makes it seem like it is over. It is not over. Summer is still here for a while. the routine of the semester does not kill it. It just makes it a bit different, changing the rhythms of the day, but if you listen there’s still a great Summer song playing. No, really. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.