Sunday, May 13, 2018

An Afternoon at Dobra

Yesterday another graduation came and went here at Champlain as the years continue to add up.  I found myself the second faculty member in the queue behind the administrators, which is a testament to how long I've been here (which hardly seems possible).  In my division, the Core, we don't have majors, which means that we don't normally forge the same bonds with our students that our colleagues in the professional divisions do simply because we don't spend four years with them.  Often we only have a student for one class, although I do have an odd little cadre of students who take me three or four (and soon to be five) times.  Generally, however, we just don't have as close a relationship, which you really see at graduation.  The big exception to that rule for me is the students who I lead on travel courses.  Nothing bonds you like spending a week or two in Zanzibar or Jordan or India.  Michael was graduating and it was important to him that he got some of us together to talk about our experiences and to share one last moment as family. 

Michael and Ines, both of whom went with us on the Jordan trip in March.  It was Michael's last Scudder trip, which also included Zanzibar in 2016 and India/Sri Lanka in 2017.

John and Hattie, who both went on the 2017 India/Sri Lanka trip.  Next spring John will be taking his fifth class with me (which will be a new record) and he's planning on returning to India again as part of a travel version of my new Dar al Islam: India course. Hattie just returned from spending her entire junior year abroad.  I envy these students who get the opportunity to travel so early.

The crew, minus Michael who was snapping the picture, at Dobra.  Ines was amazed that I was reading, in this case the book Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an, while I waited for them to show up, so she had to celebrate this fact by holding up the book.

I'm very cognizant of the fact that I'm very lucky.  I figured that by now I would have moved on to some other line of work or lost myself in administrative hell because the students would have long since stopped listening to me - and that I would have stopped caring about them - but, instead, and happily, I we still get along quite well.

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