I’ve been counting down months and days to “R” day (retirement) since February 2014. The July 26, 2015 date has remained a more or less conceptual ideal that’s been slow to materialize in reality, since I continue from day to day in the same routines and rhythms of going to work as I have for many years past.

Helping a student with registration this morning, though, I came across the first symbolic representation that suggests “R” Day is more than a concept. It’s a reality whose substance materialized on the display in LSU Eunice’s my.courses, the academic services interface we use for advising students and managing registration. When I opened up the frame for Fall Semester 2015, here’s what I saw for my teaching schedule:

No courses scheduled: Free at last!

No need to verify—-It’s correct!

For the past umpteen years, the upcoming semester schedule on that frame showed my assigned classes, a list of two or three courses by title and section number.

My first reaction seeing that empty space with the “no courses” was “Yikes!” as if my self-actualization had been cancelled—- I am zealous for teaching, as I invest much pride and effort in the work:  You know, “I teach; therefore, I am.”

But after the idea settled in, I dealt with it just fine. Now I recognize the imagery of the vacant screen as an allegorical representation of light at the terminus of this figurative tunnel in which I’ve burrowed for almost 28 years.

Yes, I see the light: There is an end, and it’s in view!