They leave, I stay

When each semester winds down, a bittersweet thought crosses my mind: I won’t teach most of my students ever again.  Now, I periodically encounter them in the hallway or at a campus event, but our instructional time together is over.  As this realization sinks in, I wonder what impact my class had upon them.  This is difficult to gauge.  It feels strange to spend all of those weeks together and then watch people disperse to destinations unknown (well, unknown to me).  You hope that they retain some of the knowledge to apply in the future, but you never know how their lives unfold.  While the constant influx of students can be a pleasant distraction because there are always new relationships to build, the story follows a predictable arc with an all too familiar ending: goodbye.  Occasionally, someone keeps in touch and a casual friendship evolves, however nearly everyone drifts away.  As a result, I must do more to enjoy the moments we share because they’re so ephemeral.

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