Today was the last day of my first class at Fullerton College. I tell anyone who will listen how much I love my position there, and how much I love what I do. Today was yet another reminder of why.
I thought to leave my students with some final thoughts about writing, and my hopes for them as they continue their writing career. I know that had I been in a better place, I would have written something heartfelt and meaningful, but because I am all tapped out for the semester, I gave them the gift of John Keating. I played a clip from the movie Dead Poets Society.
I wanted them to internalize this quote:
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
I thought that maybe these words would be my gift to them.
Today, though, my students gave me a gift.
This merry band of misfits have all become amazing writers. I’d love to say it was all my doing, but many of them came to me with the ability, and just needed someone to help them fine tune it. They asked me if they were my favorite class, and I told them the truth when I said yes. I looked forward to seeing them every Monday and Wednesday, and I have really enjoyed reading all of their work.
When I had finished with my words of wisdom, they all wanted to share their final thoughts. Many of them told me that they loved my class and are excited to have me next semester, and one woman told me that she knows God steered her toward my class for a reason. She is a returning student, and worked hard for an A in my class. She told me that she would have never survived if it wasn’t for me. Another one of this delightful group told me he would have dropped the class if it had not been as interesting as it was. This was the first college class that he actually passed, and one day I hope to stumble across his writing in a bookstore.
I have a month off before it all starts again, and I have to say, I can’t wait.
It is not very often that I get to come face to face with my good decisions, and man does it feel good when I do.