Saturday, March 27, 2004

farewell to teacher

dearest teacher,

after i wrote you my short reply i looked up the crs website to see if u have courses next semester, and you don't. the idea of you leaving is still somewhat a vague notion in my head that isn't quite real. i suppose, the reality will sink soon enough as soon as you are no longer here.

i had taken for granted you staying since you'd taken the TWSC directorship. if i had known you had thoughts of leaving i would've taken one of your classes this semester. i had so looked forward to being in your state of the state class, i'd already downloaded the pdf course description from your webpage.

i will not ask the reasons why, i am sure you have been asked many times. i know it must be a difficult decision to make and so your reasons for leaving must outweigh those of staying.

you said, no eulogies. but i am afraid that is inevitable, for when you leave you take with you a force, something that has attracted your students, including me. when you leave, it will not only be a great loss to the department and the university of a great teacher but also of a great idea.

i cannot express to you how much you have influenced not only my academic life but my very reason for being. you have made the idea of being a professor not only attractive but worthy. you have demonstrated, not with your words but with your thoughts and example what it means to be in the vocation of teaching.

you have shown the importance of focus in scholarship and that you have given me guidance not so much that we would talk very often but your demands for more, for deeper explanations have made me want to do better. and seek much more satisfying (possible) answers to questions.

when you leave, i wish what you have left in us, your students, would stay. the continuous thirst for knowledge, for critique, for passion in these ideas we read in our books that at times seem figments of the imagination. you make them more real. the engagement in what it is you "profess." and your engagement of your students.

i cannot possibly express, gareth, all it is that you have taught me. i am only thankful, that i have had the blessing of knowing you even for such brief a time. all goods things must end i suppose. and like a brief shooting star, light must also fade.

i am sorry i cannot go to PG as i also have some more errands to run before i leave with my mom for canada. i will be at your party on thursday however. maybe we should all get soused.

i will miss you. and although you might visit once in a while, and we could continue communicating through e-mail, it will not be the same.

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