I don’t celebrate Christmas and, for me, the first day of the academic year is its emotional equivalent. I love coming into the classroom, handing out my syllabi, meeting the new students, and reconnecting with colleagues after the summer vacations. After the first day of classes ends, N. and I usually go out to celebrate.
This year, the stupid flu killed all the enjoyment of the first day of teaching I could have had. I dragged myself to campus today hoping that teaching would magically defeat the disease. That didn’t happen because the flu is too strong. The good news is that I can give the first lecture of the semester in my sleep, so that part of the teaching went well. The bad news is that I’ve lost all hearing in my right ear (and my left ear isn’t good since childhood). So when students ask questions (which they are bound to do on the first day of class), I simply can’t hear.
Another small problem is that my right eye is red and swollen, making me look like a victim of domestic violence. This is not an image I’m trying to project to students, so I initially planned to come to class wearing dark sunglasses. N., however, told me that this would make me look like an alcoholic who is trying to conceal a hangover. A Russian-speaking person is always suspected of being an alcoholic by default, which means that I can’t do anything to make that suspicion even stronger.
But I do feel miles better than I did yesterday and the day before, so there is positive dynamics.