Monday, March 24, 2008
Another ending, another beginning
I just turned in my grades for winter quarter and am feeling blue. The students did fine (as usual) and reading their final papers was painful only because I realized this was the end--the last official exchange we would be having. Almost everyone's gone for spring break, the campus silent except for a few echoing footsteps on the arcade. The weather is beautiful, so it feels like it should be summer, but it's not; in a week everyone will be back, and I'll be back to my old afternoon work schedule. I'll have more time to write, which is nice, which is the point, in fact... But I'm really going to miss teaching. I haven't applied to teach again next year, which will be a first in five years. During the eight years before that, when I wasn't teaching--when I had what I thought were "real jobs" in industry, which I wouldn't take now if you paid me a whole lot--I used to dream about it. Usually I was teaching a huge class in some high-ranking but chaotic community college (De Anza, I think), but sometimes I did dream about Stanford itself (where I had taught briefly in 1994). I always woke up feeling like I'd been to an exotic place, or like I'd done something wild and exhilarating, like ski-jumping. Now I've been able to do that for real at Stanford, and it's been marvelous.