This morning I woke up at the same time as usual, 6:48 a.m., twelve minutes in advance of my alarm. I lay there and let all the indicators do their test runs, then I opened my eyes, put on my glasses, looked at my e-mail.
I needed to be at work by 8:30, and my day would be full. But it would be a different kind of day from now on.
Last night, the Publication Studies class debuted their chapbook, and the winning author read his work. This is the second year that I have not been the teacher of the class, and thus I've been an interested but sort of distant spectator of this process. This, and the publication of the the spring edition of Folio, are two of the big markers of the academic year, that the year has been, as it were, achieved.
It's a celebration and a valediction, wrapped in a small alienation, suffused in an infusion of joy and relief, with a tiny tincture of sadness. Just tiny, but still.
Next week, the work will come in, and I will read the writing of these students for the last time. I'll have things to say to them, again for the last time. Most of us, students and teacher, will have said what there is to say to one another, at least for now. A few of them, I may be having conversations with them for a long time, but mostly one-sided, mostly in my own mind. Because that's the nature of teaching, and semesters. And of being with students, and then not.
Well, I started this post this morning and now it's almost five. My poor husband has caught the sick I had last week, which is so unfair it's not even really comprehensible. So we'll be staying in. I'll be refreshing my course sites from time to time to make sure that no student concern goes unanswered, and getting used to letting go of all that, because hey: the semester is over. And it's time for something new to happen.