A Good Day

I had an all-day on campus meeting today and it went really well.  It was nice to meet a number of the faculty.  The college is fantastic and I am really looking forward to working there.  I have another orientation to go to on Friday.  For quite a while now I have been wanting to teach a U.S. history course, and now I have that chance.  I’ll be teaching a course on the history of race, ethnicity and immigration in the U.S.  As you can imagine, it is a timely subject and I am hoping for lots of discussions with the students.  I will probably also be teaching Western Civ. II somewhere else and hopefully in November I’ll be teaching the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which is a course I have taught six times in the past.  It should be fun to teach something that is outside my normal area.  I am looking forward to injecting a bit of religion into the class as well, especially the role that Christians had in getting slavery to be part of the land of the free, the brave and the equal.  Of course, I will also teach about the role that Christians had in their uphill battle for equality.  But dichotomies are always fun to look at.  How can people who claim to be Christians and who, in their public lives, acted as if they were Christian, and talked as if they were Christian, go home to a dinner cooked by slaves, grown by slaves?  Or how could those who claim to be Christian like Jerry Falwell speak out against equal rights for black people and then hit the pulpit to talk about love and Christ?  How can people who claim to be Christian be so against the poor and the homeless who come to this country for a better life?  Yes, I am really excited about teaching this course… 

The commute, however, is a real killer (and I will get no sympathy from Doug here!).  I take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to the end of the line, jump on another train, and then take a shuttle to campus.  I am really big on public transport, but I would also love to get a Prius.  We’ll have to get a car if I end up teaching at another college that isn’t close.  There are only so many hours I can take sitting on trains and buses! 

It has also been a week of deaths.  My brother-in-law’s mom died, one of our friends died, and my Ph.D. supervisor just sent me an email to tell me that her mom died the other day.  We are going to Manny’s memorial service on Sunday and I’ll be helping out at the church to prepare for it. 

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