My Shakespeare professor from my undergraduate years, who had been knighted (seriously) by the Queen herself, once recounted the anecdote of the dog, who began his week-long stay at a kennel believing that all bees were flies, and ended his stay believing that all flies were bees. Point being--belaboring it--that neither optimism nor pessimism is realistic. But that's a dog, of course. What about optimism that is like an engine? that keeps you going?
Today while I was working away on my online course, I felt so hopeful that this would be a great semester. Not the kind of hopeful you have to talk yourself into--the kind of hopeful that just wells up.
Here are a few things I am looking forward to: new episodes of 30 Rock. My son's Abbey Road party. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Reading Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Watching Mission Impossible tomorrow in the middle of my syllabus-writing. Writing every week. Making new flavors of ice cream (recent flavors: amaretto-cherry and meyer lemon). Mad Men. Teaching poetry this semester. Wearing my pink sweater. Watching the Jazz get better.
But not, if I'm honest, the upcoming election. Just worried. Not quite pessimistic, not yet.
I am, though, way, way excited for the upcoming semester. Excited to keep going, building my courses, making plans, coming up with ideas that will make my teaching life a little more challenging and quite possibly just a little more amazing.