Last class of the semester tonight at Chapman University in Orange, Cal.
I teach sports journalism, and 13 students showed up pretty dutifully every Tuesday for (more or less) 2 1/2 hours of my jabbering.
It’s a weird thing, the shoes and vantage point of an adjunct. I feel like, because I only lead one class, I become particularly close to the students. I desperately want them to do well; I’d love to hand out only As; I can’t wait to see their careers … their lives … their accomplishments. This was probably the best group I’ve ever had in one room. They were inquisitive and challenging and funky. Some arrived with more experience than others; some are staffers at the Chapman newspaper; some write with automatic flow.
But, to a person, they were enjoyable. Which makes teaching equally enjoyable.
But here’s the thing: I grow attached to the students. I truly do. Yet to a good number of the attendees, it’s merely a class. One of many. Maybe they liked it a lot, but—day’s end—it’s three of 12 or 15 credits. And I don’t blame them. I was surely the same way in college. Trying to get by, itching for class to end so I could go play hoops or eat at The Scrounge or … whatever it was I did in the early 1990s.
So I’m sad tonight, and they’re not.
It makes sense.