Last Saturday was commencement for our December graduates. If I had a heart, I would have been sad to see them go.
For those who have emotions, there are often some mixed feelings about leaving. We are a small school and a relatively small department. We pride ourselves on being involved with the students and providing individual instruction. And something that most people don't realize is that studio classes are twice as long as lecture classes. This means we spend twice as much contact time with our students as other professors...and that's just in the regular class times. We also require our students to work on projects outside of class time (a minimum of four hours per week per course). All that means we end up spending a lot of time working with and getting to know our students. So when these students have personalities and are outgoing, it's easy to see how you could miss them when they are gone.
That's Ashley up there. She came to Lander the same semester I did and she was my very first advisee. I think I had her in four classes during these last 3 1/2 years. She's the best student plaster mixer I've ever seen and she was the one who challenged me to play racquetball this semester. Near the end of the semester it was obvious that while she wanted to be done with school, she was not so thrilled about leaving Sean and Katie and that she might even miss some of her most annoying professors. I tried really hard to make her cry at graduation, but she held true to her heart of stone and never shed a tear.
Lucky for me I'm the tin man.