Thursday, May 14, 2009

Endings

Lots of things are ending this weekend. Tonight I will have dinner at Annapoorna with my workshop folks, towards whom I feel great tenderness. I hate that I have to assign grades to their work, particularly the short essays about a poem I asked them to write without really taking much time at all to discuss them in class. They don't count a lot, but they are a gesture toward making this an "academic" class. Next time I teach a workshop, I will teach more critical writing to make this a more genuine part of the class. I may have to make the paper worth more though, if I do this.
Also the last hike of the wilderness workshop, a 4 hour affair, will be taking place on Sunday. I am looking forward to it, but feel a sort of dread at it ending. There is no reason I should not go on turning out poems, but the truth is, I love an audience, and there is not much opportunity to have one otherwise. I will just have to be better about seeking out opportunities to read and to send out work. And to put that book of poems together! The problem is that it will seem such a random collation of work right now. There are those formed poems, the beginning of something new and improved, I think. Do they belong with what I have written before? Should I give up most of those earlier poems and start fresh now, resigning myself to the idea that I will have to take a few years to make a collection (again)? Should I set those aside and make a collection out of the old stuff and start a new collection with this, with an eye to the future? Hard to say.
And then there's Julie's retirement party tomorrow night. I will miss her, and I can't imagine what the college will do without her. When she isn't there in the summer, that's when I get my autistic students, and have no one to send them to. What if no one replaces her? What will happen to those students now?
Spring is the ending of the school year, though I will go on teaching throughout the summer (the first time I have ever done it--usually I take one semester off). It is the time for this bitter-sweet saying goodbye, and being happy and sad. It's all part of the cycle.

2 comments:

Lou said...

There will be a parttime replacement for Julie, and we surely hope that he gives us just a little of the help we've come to expect from Julie. Imagine how she feels right now about endings! I try to remember that a commencement is a beginning. :)

Robbi said...

That's true. That's what commencement means. I am glad that there's a part-time replacement, at least.