Sprouting Acorns

On my rather long drive in today, the first day of classes, I noticed  that the leaves have conspired to announce the academic year as they transform from a deep summer green to the yellows and oranges and reds soon to become the mosaics beneath our feet.

Landscape with Trees, Piet Mondrian, 1933
Piet Mondrian, Landscape with Trees, 1933

The University, whose former logo had an oak leaf bearing acorns, welcomes what it conceives of as student seedlings transplanted for our–the faculty’s–cultivation.  It may be supposed that we are in the business of ensuring that “an ook cometh of a litel spyr” (thanks be to Chaucer). What does the University expect of these students?  That’s what every entering student wonders when settling into the first classroom on the first day.  What fruits will I bear–and how many pages does that mean I will write?  When they enter your classroom, they may well believe. . . Continue reading