Project goal: 120 boxes, and $1560 to ship them.
Present tallies: 190 boxes, $4421 in shipping funds.
As of our last class meeting this past Monday, we are halfway to doubling our project goal, with plenty of funds raised to ship our boxes of school supplies. We anticipate many more boxes to be filled, with drives by other classmates yet to reach completion. And maybe then, during the summer, we will have a reason to reunite and get the remnants of our donated supplies packaged.
Sure, many of us will continue on this project, or similar humanitarian projects. But as an official class, we are finished.
No longer will we be waking up early at the beginning of each week to discuss our progress and efforts. No longer will we have to borrow carts, or park our cars in front of Juniper to unload our vehicles. No longer will we scribble the classroom whiteboard with tallies and notes. No longer will we be calculating just how far we’ve succeeded our goals.
Now, I’ve never been good with goodbyes. Though a man I may be, tears and I have become rather acquainted with each other in such instances. Yet no tears fell on Monday. Even after listening to all my classmates discuss the highlights of their experiences, even after reflecting upon just how well the twelve of us had worked as a team, even after the removal of several drop-off boxes around campus… everything about that class meeting was so reminiscent of a goodbye – except, perhaps, the amount of packing we had to get done that morning.
Perhaps the one thing that didn’t click, that which was always absent in typical goodbyes, is that it wasn’t really a goodbye at all, even though everything we did acknowledged the end. There may be chances in which the twelve of us will be able to work together again, on this project or perhaps others, but without this guarantee perhaps, in this regard, it is a goodbye.
But the ideals, inspirations, and initiatives we have attained from this project, do not end. They are seeds that Professor Temple has planted with us throughout the semester, seeds she nurtured through the experiences she allowed us to experience, seeds that have now bloomed.
This goodbye is nothing more than the opportunity for us to spread our own seeds, elsewhere, where we may be needed, even if it is in the very same garden. And to me, this is why it is hardly a goodbye at all, but rather a beginning.
So, for giving us the opportunity of self-development, for watching us grow and reach out to the world around us, and for guiding us through the semester: Thank you, professor.