i learned way too many things to blog them all here. plus, in an hour, sarah and i hit the road to drive down to santa cruz where we'll be celebrating my nephew aleks' seventh birthday! a day of fun at the santa cruz boardwalk and an evening of pizza, cake, and presents at my mom's place. (update: fun, fun, fun.)
here's some highlights:
- the incoming crop of new faculty - dissertation scholars, term professors, and tenure-track professors - are extremely interesting and engaging. although we represent different fields and disciplines, we all seem to share a commitment to doing good. the academics i met, albeit way too briefly, over the last few days seem committed to change - positive change, healthy change, humane change.
- whether it was the dean, the associate deans, or president privett speaking, all of them spoke about the importance of teaching. USF, by all accounts, takes teaching very, very seriously and they offer multiple teaching workshops and seminars. one clear take-away from the two day orientation: USF expects and requires excellent teaching.
- collaborations - among faculty, among faculty and students, among departments, and among communities - are encouraged and desired.
- at the end of the first day of orientation, the jesuits invited us to their home and garden for wine, snacks, and conversation. their garden, with an incredible northern view of san francisco and the bay, was a treat and a retreat and made the agenda-filled day suddenly slow down, calm down, and wind down.
- we had a great dinner with many of the new faculty's partners, wives, and husbands joining us. dinner was a low-key opportunity to actually get to know one another.
and with that, we're off to santa cruz.