Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Reflecting the End of the Semester

It was exciting to arrive at work this morning, the second day of final exams, to see groups of my students taking their last-minute looks at the material before our literature final: books open, notes in hand, conversing with one another. After a semester of hard work, the hallway was still intimate with scholarly buzz and bustle ahead of the last push.

"Wow!" I began. "It's nice to see everyone cramming for their finals at the last minute."

"Good morning, Mr. Bob," called a particularly social student as I passed. A group of familiar faces were seated around a couple of sunny tables in the hallway. "Look at my best friend," the student said, pointing in the direction I was walking. I noticed the student immediately. He was wearing neither the ghotra nor the thobe that he had worn the entire semester, and he looked different in Western clothes.

"Hi, best friend," I said, grinning, and everyone broke into laughter. "You look skinnier." The student smiled broadly and squirmed a little uncomfortably on his cushion, and then everyone seemed to be talking at once. "See you guys later."

Their chatter faded as I continued down the hallway. I turned left, and found another student at a table all alone, but obviously reviewing the same material. "You found a nice quiet place here."

"I'm ready," the student commented with a smile, "but I'm just checking a few things."

"Good luck!"

I didn't stop and continued up the stairs to my office. I had to read e-mail and get all of my materials together for the final at 8:30AM. There seemed to be a comparable amount of activity among my colleagues who, now that we were on the same schedule to accomodate our final exams, were all getting ready at the same time. There was a minor complexity when I noticed that I did not have enough copies, but that was rectified without any further delay and no one missed a beat.

That's the extent of it. I just noticed the laughter and the sense of accomplishment. Do I need to write something more profound?

1 comment:

Bob said...

Good writing.