We wasted the good surprise on you!
– Big Daddy
I’m not an easy person to surprise.
No matter how diligently they tried to conceal it, by the time Christmas rolled around, I’d usually surmised what my parents had bought me.
It’s what comes from being naturally curious and observant, I suppose.
So, today, when advisory began and the advisees I saw graduate last year, after three years with me, showed up, I was impressed that I knew nothing of their plans.
Having received word that I’ll be leaving SLA, my alumni advisees organized a party in conjunction with my current crop of advisees.
They sat down with Matt, my co-advisor.
They got Diana to find out my favorite foods (mashed potatoes and sugar cookies – not usually together).
They organized themselves and threw a party today.
From all the paths they’ve taken after graduation, they returned to celebrate.
Today, I felt special. I felt loved.
I told them what is true – I’ve hundreds of former students out there in the world. I’ll never know what becomes of the vast majority of them. These 40, though, they have my heart. I was not only their teacher, I was their advisor, and that lives somewhere special in my mind. I will always count myself as their advisor.
In Cambridge or Illinois or anywhere else in the world, I will always care for and support these students.
Today, they supported me.
When talking to Bud about my day, I commented I got to experience what it means to be part of a caring community. It was a further reminder that every student and every teacher deserves to learn in such a place.