A new school year!

Before this post starts tripping along the frothy path it normally takes, I want to extend my sympathy to all of those affected by the wildfires on our dear West Coast. Many have lost their lives and many more their homes; this fire season has been relentless. I would also like to thank – from the very deepest part of my heart – all of our firefighters, for their courage and energy. They join our other frontline heroes this year.

The next really important thing to herald in this post is the start of the academic year as Stanford classes start tomorrow! Here is my welcome-to-the-new-school-year video that my daughter filmed for our awesome HumBio students :).

HumBio welcome back video!

So who is ready for the start of the new school year? Ok, no hands up there. Now, I know it is the start of the school year because of my pre-academic year warm-up routine:

(1) Summer before: think of all the time to get my classes ready! I even had a pro-tip from my daughter at the beginning of the summer: “Mom, you know, if you started working on your class now, then you could have it all set by the time September rolls around.” Good idea! Have to go to the barn.

(2) Week before: pit of despair. My husband: “Every year this pit of despair thing happens, and then you manage to roll up and out. You’re the grasshopper in the grasshopper and ant story, only somehow you wiggle out of it every year.”

(3) Nights before: rotation of phobia dreams. Last night it was heights, the night before confined spaces, you get the picture. So many “late to class / don’t know where class is / giving class on topic completely unfamiliar to me” themed dreams I’ve lost count.

(4) Days before: jogging with psych up music! I thought this might be a fun and interactive exercise. Gotta be interactive with this whole online learning thing. Below find the names of the artists I listened to this morning on one of my psych-me-up for teaching jogs (one song per artist, except where noted, I really don’t jog for long at all). Name the song you think is represented for extra credit! I’ve been holding out on disclosing my playlists, for obvious reasons. This playlist is completely unedited, total transparency here.

Bee Gees; Marc Cohn; Rihanna (2 songs); Journey; Prince; a-ha; Pitbull; Flo Rida

So which songs??? Looking forward to your guesses. Hint: assume I’m not that original.

Here is to an awesome school year! It can only be made better by the sharing of a lot of pet photos, right? Feel free to respond to my twitter post for this blog with your own cute animal pics! Here is Jack snuggling with a set of much-loved stuffed animals.

Published by Lianne Kurina

I am an epidemiologist, the proud director of the Program in Human Biology at Stanford University, and a very keen horsewoman.

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