As of this evening I am completely done with the fall semester! All final exams have been graded and all course letter grades have been submitted. This marks the end of my first full semester here in SLC, which is both a giant relief as well as huge milestone for me. For those of you who know me personally, it comes as no surprise when I admit that this semester started on a rocky note, to say the least. In a tactful nutshell: I was overwhelmed by the workload and frankly underwhelmed by the students and certain of my colleagues. I found myself earning a fraction of the income to which I was accustomed in Oakland, and was struggling to reconcile the fact that I was putting forth what seemed like a superhuman effort only to be rewarded by incompetence, nearly offensively low salaries, ungrateful audiences and unanswered questions. Coming from a workplace in which I felt as though I had become an integral member, it was incredibly challenging to step foot into a new environment where I had no sense of belonging. Fast forward four months, however, and I am immeasurably happy to report that this semester turned out a hell of a lot better than I'd originally anticipated. My respect for my students at both Westminster and SLCC steadily increased throughout the semester, as they ultimately ended up stepping up their games and working their asses off, and I truly believe that, as a whole, I earned their appreciation and respect in return. All of the hard work I put in to both the advance preparation for the semester as well as before each day of class paid off, and while I certainly don't teach for the recognition, it's undoubtedly all together rewarding to know that I was able to help my students as much as possible. Furthermore, I found a handful of colleagues that have proven themselves to be not only wonderfully dedicated teachers, but who have also been incredibly helpful, supportive and encouraging. To those of my colleagues whose hearts just aren't in it - I feel for both you and your students, but I've come to realize that your indifference and lack of competence simply isn't my problem.
There's not a single day of teaching that goes by without my missing Mills to some degree, and while nothing will ever match, replace nor best the seven years of experience that I had with that school, I am entirely relieved and grateful to now say that I am truly looking forward to my continued work within both the SLCC and Westminster communities. xx