Photo Courtesy of The Daily Cougar.

      There’s no doubt that it’s been hard to miss the many traditions that accompany the spring semester, especially for seniors. I think it’s safe to say that your teachers are missing those right alongside you. For me personally, I will miss the chance to properly wrap up and say goodbye in person. At the end of every year, I like to take a group photo with each class and share what I appreciated and will remember about our time together. Each class has its own personality and it would be too much to describe here, but these are a few of the things I will remember: 

      You made mornings bearable, you were funny, and you shared your unique ways of looking at the world. I was impressed with how loyal you are to your friends and appreciated the stories you shared with all of us, including your victories and disappointments. I won’t forget that you explained TikTok to me and even asked me to be in your videos. (Sorry, but no one wants to see that!) You shared your art, culture, and recipes that were meaningful to your family. We laughed about pop culture. You were curious, wanted to learn, and asked questions I had never thought of. Even when you weren’t interested, you humored me. You reminisced about your Bio I days and it was great to see how much you loved your teachers. It didn’t go unnoticed that you said “thank you” on your way out of class every single day.  

      Now you are graciously and conscientiously adjusting, using your time in admirable ways. Some of you are working and we thank you for your service. Others are learning a new language, cooking, and taking care of grandparents or siblings. Many are rediscovering hobbies and tapping into their creativity through art and music. A surprising number of you have mentioned that you’ve found some peace away from the stress of a normal schedule. I’m happy to say you’ve proven me wrong when I complained that we were all too attached to our screens – because as it turns out, the common thread is how much you miss just being with each other. And finally, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that you chat “thank you” on your way out of distance learning every single time.

      This year has been one for the record books. It’s been a pleasure working with you all and now it’s my turn to sign off with a “thank you.”