I’ve just finished grading the last paper of the year (barring any desperate last-minute emails…). I am relieved, numbed, and happily anticipating a semester off this spring.
On the other hand, I will miss the contact with young minds, the insider view into their rich life stories, and the moments when they light up with discovery.
I just read my students’ final essays, reflecting on the semester’s work. No doubt many of my ramblings drifted like snow and melted away, but a few things took root, which is deeply gratifying. It’s especially wonderful to hear from those who say they used to dislike writing, or saw no point in it, or felt it had nothing to do with them. “I can finally see why you say that writing is the Sun and the Moon,” one student wrote; “writing is everywhere and it is essentially a part of everything we do.”
More than anything, I love the idea that I might have guided someone towards finding their own voice. That’s why these two were my favorites:
“I learned to write like myself.”
“Throughout this course, I have discovered myself as a writer.”
There is no greater compensation than that.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 115: 198 words, TOTAL = 18,916; 41,084 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.