Saturday, July 12, 2008

Odyssey -- Last Day

Today I leave New Hampshire and fly back to Rochester, a project that will take all day because with air travel and Rochester you can never just go from here to there. Last night there was a barbeque, at which the students gave me presents and we all vowed to stay in touch. This may or may not happen.

Teaching for a week like this is odd. It's very intense, and you bond. Each time, I feel reluctant to turn the students over to the next instructor in line, who in this case are Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman. No, you can't have them, they're mine! And yet I know from experience that in a few days this ridiculous proprietorship will wear off. In a year, with my poor memory for faces, I may not recognize all of them at cons. The current emotion is genuine, but transitory, like a mother cat whose kittens are taken from her.

Still, I'm very glad to have worked with all of them, however briefly, and will follow their eventual careers with interest.

1 comment:

Mike Flynn said...

Coincidentally, ran across the following regarding the Slovak Summer Seminar on the Free Society, which meets in a hiking/seminar in the High Tatras mountains:

The students are a mix of Americans and Central and Eastern Europeans – mostly Slovaks, but depending on the year, we may also have Poles, Czechs, Ukrainians, Hungarians, and Bulgarians. Except for the Slovaks – and by no means even all of them – faculty and students start out with little common experience, often do not even understand each others’ English very well. Yet by the end of two weeks, there is always a palpable sadness in parting, something like the final scenes in The Lord of the Rings when the mission is accomplished and the members of the fellowship set out for the four corners of the globe, some never to see one another again. As Professor Arkes – ever wise on such matters – explains it, "We just like being with one another."