It's finally getting close to the end of this wretched semester and academic year. Some nice things happen at the end of a semester, and I've needed nice things lately for reasons I won't go into, to avoid ranting.
One nice thing is last teaching days, and the relief that provides. Another are the rituals of closing shop - clearing out the inbox, filling the recycling bin with obsolete memos and old papers, the final faculty meetings.
Far better are the lovely exchanges of appreciation. It's amazing how much it means to me to hear that my course was
significant, helpful, interesting, or inspiring. I'm collecting a few of those already.
I have two students this semester in a GE class who have previously taken another GE class with me. I've seen them as first year students and now seniors. They deliberately chose my class to complete their upper division GE requirement, because of their good experience in the lower division course. They've recently let me know that.
I've also received unsolicited, unexpected, and much needed expressions of appreciation from faculty I represent in the California Faculty Association. I do a lot of work for faculty, and I nonetheless get a lot of flak, much of it illogical, about my representation and advocacy.
It's bittersweet. I have regrets, I made mistakes, I have frustrations, but I also have successes, victories, and joys.
(Yep, I had joys this semester. It just hasn't seemed that many in the face of all the negativity.)
Academic Year 2011-2012: A Year That Will Soon Be Flushed Down The Toilet.