Last night, I put on my nice new summer dress and the shoes I keep promising I’ll never wear again and headed off to Place des Arts to witness the Vanier graduation ceremony.
As I’ve said before, as a teacher, my success is measured in my students’ achievements. So naturally, I was thrilled and more than a little proud to see so many of my former students cross the stage last night. Maria, Raihab, Sabina, Leonce, Laura, Zara, Susie, Amado, Tanika, Brandon, Monika, Anita, Howard, Inder and T.J., congratulations on a job well done! Congrats also to those of you who weren’t there last night. Sniffle.
This year, I volunteered to be the English Department rep on the Valedictorian selection committee ~ and I’m now planning to be on this committee until forcibly removed. It was a genuine pleasure to meet so many students who not only made the grade (literally) but who were so enthusiastic about learning and about Vanier. I’m the kind of person who develops strong emotional bonds with buildings, it seems, and it really touched me to meet students who felt the same attachment as I do to our college.
Being on the committee also gave me the opportunity to work with our selected Valedictorian; Philip, you did a great job, and more than vindicated our decision to ask you to represent your graduating class. Sniffle.
My only complaint about last night was the lamentable lack of representation from my departmental colleagues. We’re the largest department on campus, yet I was literally half our contingent last night. Perhaps this reflects the fact that the department is not included on the platform, which, given our numbers, and the ministerial and institutional emphasis on communication as a cornerstone of learning, is equally lamentable. Granted, many platform party members told me that it’s no picnic being up on stage, under the hot lights, for two hours, with specific instructions not to fan themselves or otherwise inadvertently indicate boredom; but frankly, that’s easy to say when you’re already part of the party, if you see what I mean. Suffice it to say that I think the English department should (a) lobby to be included in the platform party and (b) encourage its members to attend the graduation ceremony, so we can demonstrate to our students just how much it means to us that they’ve made it.
After all, if they’ve made it, we’ve done our job.

One Reply to “Farewell”

  1. Congratulations on a job well done! I can tell by the enthusiasm that you have for your job and your students that you are a fabulous teacher. The kind that really gives a damn about whether or not the students succeed, not just in school but in other venues as well. Nice to know that there are still teachers like that out there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *