Not with a Bang

The semester never rounds off to an end; it unravels. At some point you realize you’ve lost your students’ attention; their roommates have scheduled their ride home during your final class in which you were going to sum everything up, or else they’re skipping in favor of the graduation barbecue and their summer job; their final paper topics are not what you’d hoped, revealing that they weren’t on the same wavelength as you after all; a couple of kids, sometimes the most eloquent, freak out or overdose and disappear from class; you yourself are too harried by student concerts and conferences to prepare an adequate lecture; hasty requests for incompletes are e-mailed by young scholars whom you will not see again. And so in the penultimate week you quit kidding yourself and start closing up shop, shedding your expectations for even the most formerly gratifying semester as if it were an alcoholic houseguest who was so charming earlier in the evening, but now must just be trundled off out of sight as discreetly and safely as possible, and in the last moments only you and a couple of colleagues are left to stare at each other sardonically as the whole thing fizzles.


  1. says

    Ouch! Sorry to hear that – but have been waiting for a chance to say what an amazing month November was here on the blog. It was like being in a very high level seminar or colloquium. I read posts and comments over and over to try to get my head around all those ideas and opinions. Thanks very much for creating this place for all that to happen. Wishing you all the joys of the season and a new year filled with wonderful music.

  2. says

    As another student in Your “worldwide classroom”, I take the opportunity to express my thanks, too. I’m very much enyoing all the informations, opinions, insights, and especially the obvious fact that You speak out what You’re convinced of, be it majority view or not.
    All the best wishes Germany – and I quite selfishly hope You’ll keep blogging for many years to come.