Well today is the day!! Year 2 as an Assistant Professor in African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)!!
Last year was one definitely to remember…I had just moved to Richmond in the middle of a pandemic, VCU had pretty much asked professors and instructors to change their formats for teaching, and my apartment became not a just a place of residence but also a work place. This year, while there is still a pandemic, people are getting vaccinated, students are returning to campus, and majority of the classes are in-person (with mask requirements). The in-person part is really exciting to me because I thrive off being able to see my students live and in living color, it just feeds the soul!!
So this semester, my teaching schedule has one new addition! I have the privilege of teaching the Capstone Seminar course for Africana Studies students and I will also teach the Theories and Foundations in Africana Studies course for the second year! The Capstone Seminar course is definitely going to be a new venture for me as I will be guiding students through a semester long research project. It’s more than just teaching but also serving as a guide for this major undertaking. I have always wanted the opportunity to serve as mentor and I feel like this will be great preparation. In addition to the teaching I have also been tasked with serving as the advisor for the “Black Excellence at VCU” organization for which I am pretty siked! All in all, I am very much looking forward to this Fall semester!!
Now as this new semester begins, I will be honest there are still butterflies in the stomach and a little nervousness, but it is to be expected. I strive to always give 110% to my work, my students, and myself so my daily prayer is that I find that balance with all three and just do my part in being the best person, scholar, and professor that I can be. My one main goal that I always have every semester is that my students leave my classes with at least one thing that they did not know prior to the course. It may seem simple and minimal, but major for me. That one new thing, idea, thought that a student leaves with can be a life-changer and to know that I may play a role in that is a huge accomplishment!
AUGUST 24th, 2021 the journey continues!!
And to all those who are starting today or have already started WELCOME BACK!! As the summer winds down and my favorite month comes to a close (SMILE), it is time to get back into the routine! Time to get those creative juices flowing again…Time to inspire, encourage, and motivate (teachers and students)…Time to make some new memories!!
So let’s blaze some trails and seek new horizons!!
Alright that’s enough for the first day, but make sure you stay tuned periodically for updates and check-ins, because trust me I GUARANTEE there will be some memorable moments shared!!
It’s my BIRTHDAY month (August 16th to be exact!) so you know I gotta bring the heat with this month’s list!! Even added a book for the kids (cause of course you know Dr. G loves the kids!!)!! And the summer is not over yet, so you still got some time to hit the beach and get some good reading in while soaking in that good Vitamin D!!
So check out this month’s selection and make sure to pre-order, go to your local bookstore, or add to your wishlist!!
Another year around the sun, for the 40th time!! Wow time truly does fly when you are having fun!! I have been looking forward to this birthday, and here it is!! Today is a big deal, because (in the age of COVID-19) many have not had the privilege to turn 40 let alone have another birthday!! I get the opportunity to breathe life, run through the ocean, hug my mama, mentor a student, and be a better person!!
Leading up to today I had many thoughts of fear, excitement, joy, curiosity, amazement,… In many ways turning 40 actually feels easier than turning 30. Turning thirty was strange, it was emotional, it was supposed to be exciting, and it was another year of life (that I am thankful for)!! This birthday is one where I am not asking for much, just to be on someone’s beach reading a good summer book. Thankfully I get to do this twice, one on my actual Birthday and again in a few months. Reflecting on my last years of 30s, I realized how much I really enjoy the simple things in life. Don’t get me wrong I like the pomp and circumstance, but I can take it in moderation (lol). The small wins, the little joys that really does work for me.
40 is one of those milestone birthdays where you either feel like you are getting old or you are re-evaluating life, and it definitely is the latter for me. So much has happened all before this birthday…I lived on both coasts of the U.S., traveled extensively throughout the world, bought a house, got my PhD, in a career that I love, watched my mom retire after 30+ years of work, move to a city that I love, and so much more!! When I think back on all those memories I have truly been blessed and continue to see those blessings!! Going into 40, I felt like I had to check off all these boxes, and grant it I did, but as the weeks and days got closer to August 16th I began to have this sense of clarity and ask myself a few questions. Are you happy Grace? What do you want to achieve that you have not? Is there room for flexibility? What have you let go? And are you putting in the work to make sure you are healthy and happy? These are questions that get answered, but sometimes are asked again, and I’m good with that. Talk about maturing!!
So what’s next…In this new year, new chapter, new book I am taking some sage advice that I got from a good friend of mine…be intentional in not just one aspect of life but in ALL parts!! I have learned that I put 100% (sometimes even more) in my professional work, but when it comes to my personal I will short change myself, and that is not fair. If I can give my all into my work, I should be able to do the same and more for my personal aspects of life. Sometimes you need those reminders, because I know I deserve the best so why not give and treat myself to the best!
On last week I posted a joke about how I was almost 40 but still felt like I’m 20, until I hang out with actual 20 year olds and then I realize, nope Grace you are not a spring chicken lol! But guess what I am totally fine with this realization. These days I treasure taking a nap, I listen to my body when it says it’s getting late time to turn in, I value sitting in my silence and clearing my thoughts, the simple things in life!
So as I walk, better yet stroll into this new year I continue to embrace this adage that my grandma always told me, “One Day at a Time!”
I am very much looking forward to what this year has in store!!
#Hello40 and Welcome to the Party!! Let’s have some fun!!