Friday, August 17, 2007

Where One Door Closes...

Last night I shut the door on a pretty big part of my life. Literally. I closed my office door at ISU and walked away from a cleared out, empty office. I took my name plate from the door, put it in my “take home” box, and turned in my keys in the secretary’s drop box. Wow. I’d closed that office door behind me and walked down that hallway so many times through the years, often hauling a book bag full of papers to grade. Despite teaching English composition all those years, on my way out I began to get a little mathematical in my thinking…

Ten full years is twenty semesters. Each semester I had four sections, each with an enrollment of right around 25. One hundred students per semester is 200 per year, times 10 years is 2000 students. It varied a bit from course to course, but usually within a semester, my students would write five papers a piece. With each of my students doing that, it means that I graded around 10,000 papers during my time at ISU!!! I really don’t even want to convert that to hours because it might be too painful, plus some papers were a fast grade, as opposed to the research paper which usually took between 30-45 minutes per paper!

But aside from all that grading, I really did enjoy being in the classroom with those students. It will seem really weird next week to know that classes are starting and I won’t be there to welcome in a whole new crop of freshman comp students. And while I know in my heart of hearts that it was time for me to leave, and making the decision to get out of my comfort zone and switch careers was exactly what God showed me he wanted me to do, at least for now, I’m still a bit sentimental about the whole thing. So yes, I’ll close that chapter of the book, but I won’t completely close the door on what that chapter has been grooming me for: the possibility of continuing to impact people from the front of the room, whether indirectly or (prayer of prayers!) quite directly, striving to show them Jesus.

7 comments:

Denny said...

Sooo.. that's where you were heading last night,when I passed you in West Terre Haute? I waved but I think you snubbed me!! Interesting you posted that today. When I was driving to work this morning and passed ISU I wondered if you were missing teaching.
One other thing-- that's a whole lot of calculatin' you got going on in that post!! You should have taught math too.:)

Lauren said...

I have an idea of your new career, but tell me more!! (You've already got an unpaid career of Big Time Encourager!!)

M. Milbourn said...

ahhh all part of God's great adventure!

Techie Topher said...

You just described my departure from All American Computers 3 years ago. It was the hardest career move of my life but it was time and I knew it.

And it was all in His plan from day one. If I had it to do over again I would have made the same decision.

Hang in there and if you need someone to just listen ..... you can borrow Sherri (I was never any good at listening) -Topher

Gretchen said...

Wow. It is always bitter sweet to leave a job you love. Just think of all the free time you will have now not grading papers. ;) Just kiddin'

Sanya said...

Wow!God has you making a change too! I was beginning to feel like it was just little ole me. It's so interesting to see how God is moving in the life of fellow believers. Keep us posted on your new adventures.

Darla said...

we always make the right decision in choosing Jesus, you will be so blessed for your obedience. Just had to visit and comment this time!
Princess to Princess