The end of a semester, people always say,

“Well I bet you’re glad!” Or, “I bet you’re looking forward to a break…” Well, yes, and yes.  But as well, ‘kind of’, and ‘What break?’ There’s grading and communication with students that perpetuates through the term’s close.  AND, what if you have an enriching semester to a degree you haven’t before?  What if you want to keep the semester in its rich motion?  Is that wrong?  I mean, does that make me weird?  Yes, I’m past Week 18, but next week is Finals, then after that is grading, then preparing for the next term (Summer).  Which, I haven’t even began prepping for.

If only I could have three or five more weeks with the one section, my favorite class this semester, have a couple more discussion and hear some writings read aloud…  I don’t want to start over.  I want to see what they’ve written in their journals and write more lectures for both classes, my favorite and the other.  And I imagine some of them feel aligned with my temperament.  I want to keep it, hold on to it, not stop certain discussions.

Feel like there’s so much I didn’t do and say, and wish I would have done this and that, and then I realize such mentality is the jester’s exercise.  Time won’t stop, I’ve so many times typed.  And it didn’t.  And I don’t have to, either.  I can keep with my semester’s notes and chosen texts, notes and conversations, ideas exchanges.  Why stop?  Why do I think I have to stop after next week?  Well, I certainly won’t altogether stop, as I have a Sears Tower of papers to grade through.  So it’s not the end.  Not at all.

How many of you, teachers or students, have felt this, that you didn’t want a semester to stop. Or, at the least, one or two of your classes.  There was something about it, or them, that you just couldn’t let go of.  Yes?  Teaching and learning are the same, learning as you saunter through and about your studies and lectures…  Teach as you learn and learn as you teach (think I read that in a teaching book once, one of the dozens I’ve ordered online).  Part of why I became a teacher is so that I’d be a student the rest of my life.  Learning about how others learn, and observing certain study and scholastic habits, learning from those, taking notes, living more a student than teacher.  There doesn’t have to be an “end”.  there’s not.  Just a transition, a transcendence to another arena.  New story, microcosm contributing to the more grand narration of me as teacher, student.  Student.

Next week, just one day for finals.  Monday.  Beginning of the week.  This end is more a beginning than some dreaded or expected conclusion.  I’m not halting even for a second’s fraction or splinter in my studies and learning, teaching while I learn.  The dousing of this semester only assures the ignition of another.  So…  I restart, continue.  The end confirms a beginning.

(5/21/16)