Every year, US News & World Report ranks America's best colleges. Not all colleges participate because there's a movement that believes the college application process can be friendly, and nice, and fun. I say, if you want to have fun while filling out the small novel that has become "the college application" just fill it out while simultaneously listening to Bruce Springsteen's Greatest Hits and eating cotton candy. I can't think of anything more fun than that. Unless you did all that while sitting on a couch in IKEA. You could die from all that fun.
My college, however, appreciates the recognition that they get from the rankings. Some people are under the opinion that "small Christian college" means "weak academics." Not so where I teach. Last year we were ranked eighth in the category of best Baccalaureate colleges in the West, and this year we moved up into fifth place. Considering we're one of the smallest schools on the list, I think it's a pretty good achievement.
When I was at an inservice meeting last week, I was so encouraged by all the progress the school has made in the last five years. The school has come a long ways since I attended classes there a decade ago, and even though I wouldn't say I had the best college experience as a student, I have had a wonderful time teaching there. I love my students. I love the campus. I love the vision that the administration has for the school. I love that the other professors respect me even though I'm just an adjunct; I love that I can bring my daughters to school and not worry at all about them as students watch them while I teach; I love that when I share a personal hardship in class my students send me emails to let me know they are praying for me; I love that while the school continues to grow and expand, their mission statement hasn't. It's just a great place to be, and that's why I can't wait to get back in the classroom.
Next Thursday the 30th I'll be back in the classroom. Handing out syllabi. Giggling at the looks of dread on their faces. Convincing them that Fundamentals of Speech is actually not as terrifying as they think. Really. Not dreadful. Fun, actually. I promise.
And just for good measure, I throw in a ridiculously cheesy joke about a string. This year, I'm upping the ante and telling TWO ridiculously cheesy jokes. Because what's better than that? The second joke I'm hoping you can help me out. Put on your best jokester hats, and leave some humor in the comments. I'm looking for something that'll take longer than 3 seconds to tell (read: no knock-knock jokes), something that's not inappropriate, and FYI: I'm a big fan of puns. Your reward will be two classrooms full of students laughing and/or groaning in despair.
Putting the "Fun" in Fundamentals of Speech. (But seriously. I don't say that in class because I need them to respect me. Just a little.)
PS: Thanks for giving me such lovies on the new haircut. I'd send you each a piece of key lime pie if I could!