Today is that day. The last day of class. All the work is done. My fancy-schmancy spreadsheet shows 100% completed, the la-di-da grade sheet shows (mumble mumble) and the excitement at the end of term is almost palpable. I feel a little like a twelve year old, just gearing up for eight indolent weeks of summer vacation, of heavenly nothing – of busy-ness, the way nature intended.
Here is my final paper (my last final paper) beside me, hot off the presses, ready to be handed in today. As I look at it there – supine, languid, inert and surprisingly inoffensive considering all the gosh-darned work that went into it – I am reminded of the first day of class when I went up to the prof to have a chat.
I always do this at the beginning of term. I say, in a soft and confidential voice replete with paternal overtones something along the lines of “I may not always get the answer right, but you’ll always be able to read it.”
I take pride in this. I think – stop me if I’m wrong – that someone seeking a degree in communications should actually be able to communicate. Communications requires proficiency in at least two of the three R’s, and if you ain’t got that, then what do you got? If I’m going to try to set myself up in a career as a writer, communicator, or pundit then I think I should have the capabilities, not just the desire and the piece of paper.
So here I go. When I hand in this paper I’m officially closing the book on the 2013 winter semester – my fourth – at the University of Calgary. I’m saying farewell to noodles and Stromboli. I bidding adieu to smelly washrooms and a library that never seems to get cleaned. I’m waving bye-bye to broken chairs and desks that squeak and wobble, and an administration that wants to save money but never acknowledges any of the suggestions I send in. Until September, anyway. If they’ll let me back in after this.
Last day. Last assignment. Last call.