For me, the last day of July marks the beginning of a new academic year. I begin to think in earnest about the courses I will be teaching in the fall and throughout the year. I’ve had about 6 weeks “off” (for teachers, there is no such thing as a “free” summer), so it’s time to start gearing up for the new year. It is a time of planning curriculum and of reflecting on what is to come. It is a time for me to review learning goals for my courses and reconsider the kinds of activities that I will use to engage students in their own learning process. During the next six weeks, my excitement will build, as it does every year, for that first day of class in a brand new year. I dream of the possibilities that await myself and my students as we explore new territory together. The leaves are still green and hanging on the trees, and my mind is full of fall. Of course, there’s still lots of summer left–my husband and I will make a few more short journeys before the end of August–one to Astoria and one to Ashland for the Shakespeare festival. But it is hard for me to live in the moment completely–the academic calendar has been ingrained in me after teaching for over 30 years! Its familiar rhythm pulls me in once more and with every day that passes, my anticipation grows. Bring. It. On!