The Odd Ritual of Parting With Students

Today was the last day of classes and I found myself doing that parting ritual I’ve developed over time. The nurturing part of me wanted to squeeze in all the last minute advice I had for them, the academic part wanted to note how far they have come in their development, the Dad part needed them to know how proud I am.

This used to be a painful experience. These days I seem to approach it from a more zen perspective.

My belief is that I am privileged to be part of these people’s lives for a short ten-month period, and I operate from the perspective that this is all the time I have to make any impact on them. Over the years, I have tried to learn how to strip away the potential I had to make a negative impact, and to focus on ways to teach positive ideas about morality and navigating the roiling oceans of adulthood with some dignity and self-respect.

Today that time once again came to an end.

The day was spent thanking them for the privilege of being in their presence, warning them that the only defense against a cold world that is growing colder is to pursue training and skills development in their callings, to become the truest version of themselves possible. This was presented with respect and gratefulness and love to let them know they deserve such things from the people they meet and they shouldn’t settle for less.

All that is left is to pray that they took what they needed from the lessons offered this year and that it helps them find their place in the sun.

All blessings to you, students. May the light shine brightly within you.