Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day Times 10 at Xavier

Today was the first day of the Fall Semester here at Xavier University of Louisiana. I have been here 10 years, having moved from Jerusalem to New Orleans in the summer of 2001. I would say that overall it's been a good fit. To be honest, there were frustrating times when I thought about leaving. I often believed that I would be better matched at a Division One research institution. It would also have been nice to be a bit closer to our families in Nebraska, as our children seldom see their relatives. But over the years I've been able to personalize Xavier's Mission, and there is plenty here that is worth fighting for. For me this especially became true for the people of New Orleans after the flood.

It is always wonderful on the first day of class when we get to meet our students. Most classes hand out a syllabus and dismiss. Instead, I try to hit the ground running and make the students come out of their security zones by telling them horrifying stories about Nebraska. I also explain to them that the key to staying out of trouble is to wear a sweater vest. I have never seen anyone in the news shot or arrested who is wearing a sweater vest. But I think my favorite part of being at Xavier is getting to know the students.

I am now 45-years-old, and that means I have about 20 years more of teaching before I could consider retirement. So I'm about a third of the way done. I wonder if I'll still enjoy meeting students in another 10 years?


  1. So, that's why you wear a sweater vest in NOLA. Never knew that was your theory.

  2. Recommending sweater vests when the heat index is 115 degrees, then telling dark tales about Cornhuskers? First day at Homan's class sounds like a chamber of horrors.