Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Short notes to the very last students.

Dear ante-penultimate student,

Thank you for showing up for your appointment, and thanks for really trying hard all semester long--I observed it, your effort, and it was, in its persistent way, impressive. Inspiring, even. Thank you for saying that the course was 'amazing.' Maybe I needed to hear that, with no matter how many little mental caveats. Maybe I took a little snapshot of that bit of praise, mentally. Okay, maybe an actual snapshot. With my iPhone.

I'm so glad I was your teacher,



Dear penultimate student,

Thank you for being willing to attempt so many different kinds of writing this semester. Thank you, truly, for using the word 'genre' in such a way that I felt you understood what it means. Thank you for appreciating the library databases: it's true, they are a veritable miracle. (My words, but I think that's what you were getting at.)

You are the very reason that teaching feels--at the end of the semester--worthwhile,


k k

Dear last student,

I know that you had an appointment at 8:40 p.m. But that appointment was, actually, for last Wednesday night. A week ago. This is why I wasn't in the chatroom tonight.

I think you see the conundrum, right?

Not holding it against you (much),


k k

Dear very last student,

I know it wasn't your fault--not remotely--that you had the very last appointment. The very last appointment on the very last day. It's true, then, that I was running on the very last drops of consultational fuel. Fumes, actually, if you want to know the fact of the matter.

So when you didn't show up at the appointed hour, should I feel bad that I felt sneakingly relieved? I was alone in my office. Alone in the chatroom. And I watched the digital timekeeper in the upper right hand corner of my screen tick the minutes off. I watched for new entrants into the chatroom. Nope. And...nope.

Is it wrong that I lifted my arms like Rocky Balboa, after he reached the top of those Philadelphia stairs, and gave a silent cheer?

Well, is it?



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