My Road to the Ph.D.: Moving into August

A quick one since it’s extremely late and I should probably get some sleep.

It is nearly August. August is going to be a month full of change–some good, some… different. Most imminent is the end of my second summer semester. It will mark the completion of my first “year” of my doctoral program and put me on the path towards my candidacy exams come May 2011. More importantly, the end of the semester means I can finally begin my summer vacation–since I literally finished the school year at my old boarding school on Friday and drove right out to Western PA to begin classes on Monday. 4 wonderful days at Disney’s resort in Vero Beach, Florida will be followed by another 7-9 days at Disney’s Saratoga Springs resort in Orlando (I can’t remember how long we’re there for other than it’s at least a week)!

But that isn’t what has me thinking about the change in months right now. Instead, I’m thinking of two breeds of college freshmen: those that will arrive in my classroom whom I will try and prepare for further college studies, and those who left my classroom at the end of May at the end of their senior year of high school. This will be the 5th fall semester where I’ve been responsible for “breaking in” college freshmen and helping them through this big transition in their lives. Students who pass me typically find they are prepared and confident to do well in the more advanced courses. As one student recently told me, “After you, the next course was a break!” Of course, I can’t help but hope my high school seniors walk into their freshman composition courses and find out that they too are smart and capable. I know they’re going to find an increased workload, but maybe not see it as so great a challenge. Maybe they’ll find August, and September, and the rest of the semester aren’t as bad Mr. Helvie purported.

I hope so.


About fhelvie

I live in CT with my wife and two sons. I am also writing my doctoral dissertation, which is focused on the relationship between American literature and comic book superheroes. I have served as a panelist at a number of conferences discussing my research in comics, medieval literature, and pedagogy. Most recently, I had the good fortune to present at the New York Comic Con. In addition to my work in comics scholarship, I'm also a full-time professor of developmental English.
This entry was posted in My Road to the Ph.D.: Year One and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s