I miss teaching. I taught as an adjunct instructor for ten years at two different universities. I loved the students. Using my creative energies for weekly lesson preparation was nearly as much fun as being in the classroom. One of the perks of teaching is the closure that it brings.
A semester begins in September and ends in December. Another semester gets underway in January and wraps up in May. Closure is a good thing. I always enjoyed getting a fresh start twice a year. Each term I recognized ways that I could improve the learning experience for the students.
I have not as an adjunct since 2004. I still do some occasional guest lecturing for ministry students and in the law enforcement academy, but it is not quite the same. I miss having the distinct chapters in life that the academic calendar creates. Beginning a new chapter in life is good. And closing that same chapter is not so bad either.
Today I am grateful that the year is about to end. It has been a wonderful year characterized by reuniting with old friends. It has also been a rough ride in other ways. I have officiated at some funerals that were hard on me personally. I watched friends cope with serious illnesses. Church life has had its share of challenges. I have assisted directly with three law enforcement line of duty deaths this year. There is no semester to close out. I don’t have a deadline to turn in grades. But the year is about to end. The chapter entitled 2010 will end soon.
I must say I am ready to close that chapter. And I am quite enthused about beginning a new one entitled 2011. Who knows what a new year will bring? I am eager to grow and improve in areas that need attention in my life. I see things I could do better. I am well aware of my failures. There are mistakes I hope that I do not repeat.
I don’t know that New Year’s Resolutions are all that helpful. But I do think it is important to have some general direction where we think we should head. When I was teaching, I recall that every semester was different. The chemistry of the student group was always unique and intriguing. The same is true of chapters in life. 2011 will be characterized by interactions with all kinds of people. The chemistry will be equally exceptional. I am just ready to begin that new chapter!