42 miles each way, three classes, five papers, three commencements, two days, two weeks, nine hours and one trustee meeting.
It is finished. Summer has begun!
One thing I’ve learned after seventeen years in academia is that there are a few days out of the year that feel dramatically different. The Friday afternoon after the final Spring commencement service is one of those days. As I left the Gym after striking the sound system, I marveled at how empty the campus had suddenly become. The bustling of the crowd just a few minutes before had given way to an almost deafening silence as if people had finally decided to move on to the next stage in their lives.
Invariably, the next two weeks following commencement are a bit of a lead into Summer; almost like a warm up. No summer classes per se, but lots of Mini term classes that provide a good way to walk off the Spring term. It’s also the week I teach my film class, so a majority of the time in the evenings is spent watching films. Very fun.
On a more reflective note I can honestly say that this semester has been one of the more difficult of my life. I got nine hours knocked out, but I lost a few friends along the way. Amy W. (a friend of mine) passed away suddenly, and some other friends of mine had their lives irretrievably changed because of work issues. I will miss all of them. All this and teaching while working almost full time was a challenge that I could not have met had Amy (my wife) not been there for me. You are my wife and I love you. You were the encouragement I needed, the kick in the pants I deserved, and the shoulder to cry on when things got hard.
This Summer is for us. Amy and I are heading down South to celebrate our 5th (whooda thought?), and I’ve got plenty of projects to work on this Summer with which to relax, reflect, and purge my system for Fall, when I finish out my final nine hours of my residency.