Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eight AM in February

February at Kelley feels like the longest month of the year despite being the shortest. The excitement of the new semester is behind us and spring break still a long time away. This makes eight o'clock classes in the spring especially challenging for students and faculty.

I always feel a special bond with students in my eight AM sections. We arrive before the hustle and bustle of Kelley is in full swing. No pizza in the hall, the coffee kiosk is closed, there are places to park right outside the door, and a chance to chat with friends in Building Services who seem to spend the night at the school. The oxygen level in classrooms during eight AM sections is always low, leading to continued yawning. Students at Kelley in general have very fine dental work, I have seen it.

Sometimes we use the dim settings on the light levels in the class room to allow a bit more time to adjust to the new day. I am an expert in caffeine sources for students and conduct research into emerging beverage trends as I wait for students to settle. Sometimes we debate the merits of Starbucks vs. Dunkin Donuts coffee with neither side conceding a point to the other.

I'm always impressed when my Kelley's actually pay attention during an eight AM section and I like to think I make a special effort to add color to the marketing material I present. I am thankful for bodies in the seats and consider attentive, bright, interested eyes to be a real luxury at eight AM sections.

These sections speak to the quality and desire of our students. They indicate that at an early age our students understand what it takes to be successful in today's business world. These are students who will beat their boss to work, make the coffee, and finish half their to do list before most of the office shows up.

Last Wednesday 4 to 5 inches of snow closed local schools and made the commute to Kelley a bit more challenging. I admit to wishing I would receive that Twitter notification I signed up for indicating that classes would be delayed for two hours. No luck! I arrived at Kelley and at my classroom found a line of 5 or 6 students who had arrived 15 minutes early for class. By 8AM most seats were full. I shook my head with respect as I dimmed the lights, took a deep breath of oxygen-deprived air, and tried to make a good impression on the future CEO's who lifted their bright eyes towards me.

If they can do it, I can do it! See you Monday at 8.

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