ENGL1002.09 is done--Never more shall we gather.

A week ago, English 1002, Section 9, assembled in this room for our last class meeting of Spring 2011.  My band of freshman writers left with marching orders to complete and submit their final essays, and so they did.  I enjoyed reading their final reflections on their growth and development as writers as they recounted the agony of their trials which often led to joyous epiphanies of discovery. 

This week at MWF 11:00-11:50, the room has the lonesome look shown in the picture.

I’m sure the students don’t mind freedom from their class devoirs and the exigencies of final exam week, and now that I’ve got multiple sets of final papers and projects evaluated and graded, I feel emancipated, too.  Like all creatures, I look forward to reaching the end of something when respite is the reward, even if respite is brief. 

But still I’m lonesome for the students when I pass Manuel Hall Room 101 and see the empty seats and the darkened podium:  the memory of another set of learners struggling at times to “get it,” another batch of successful pieces of writing to provide examples for future classes, another set of tales added to the collected personal experience lore chronicling humble rewards of the profession.

I can’t spend such memories at the grocery store or invest them to earn interest at Edward D. Jones, but I can treasure them as the fulfillment of  life worth living and God-given work worth doing.