Saying goodbye to teaching

Hi there,

Today was my last official day of teaching – well, at least for now. I’ve spent the past year as a professor at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, teaching a brand new class called Writing and Editing for Magazine Websites. What an incredible journey it has been.

I mostly taught the class long-distance from Brooklyn using Skype, but today I came up to Syracuse to wish my students farewell on their last day of class.

My day ended with a happy hour at a local bar, Faegan’s, filled with students from the fall and spring semesters. To me, it felt like the ending of the movie “Big Fish,” when all the characters the father has ever known gather at the river for his send-off to heaven. It seemed fitting that my time at Syracuse would end with the students. After all, they were the most fulfilling part of this whole experience: seeing their work, watching them thrive, and discovering the many talents each of them possessed.

Today was also a somber day, as one of my beloved professors is sick with cancer. Walking through the halls of Newhouse made me reflect on his influence on me as a student, editor, writer, and, most recently, teacher. I can’t imagine Newhouse without him chain-smoking outside the building and eagerly showing Harry Potter movie trailers to his classes (he was obsessed – read this article about him to see how much!). When I emailed him to tell him how much I loved teaching, he responded: “I am glad that you are enjoying teaching. I have always loved it, because of the students. They are always great.”

I will pause in my teaching career in order to focus on my new full-time job, which I start on Wednesday. I am sad to say goodbye to teaching, but excited to start my new job. I feel proud of the path I’ve traveled in the past year, and it makes me look forward to where the path might go from here. Hopefully teaching will be part of that path again at some point.

I know all good things must come to an end, but part of me feels so nostalgic today. What do you do to make saying goodbye to an experience or person a bit easier?

Love from the ‘Cuse,

Mark Ramel