Wednesday, December 18, 2013

if i only had a heart

Last Saturday was commencement for our December graduates.  If I had a heart, I would have been sad to see them go.

 At Lander, we have a capstone course for all seniors to take during their final semester.  This course prepares them to be ready to apply for jobs and enter the workforce but it also requires that they put on a senior exhibit.  This exhibit showcases some of their best work completed over the last 4 years.  As the course ends and the exhibit goes up, it also allows the students and the faculty to feel closure.  That's the capstone group up there on the night of their senior exhibit reception.  They were all feeling really good about their closure.  And that's how it should be, really.  Seniors should be thrilled about graduation.

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.

Anne and Kelsey were also my advisees for the last 3 1/2 years.  They were both quiet, but they were good students and they were always smiling.  Those smiles will be missed.

Lucky for me I'm the tin man.  

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