Yesterday was the last day of classes for the winter term, and my last day of teaching at Carleton College. My intermediate Latin students surprised me with a cake and an enormous card. After class, one of the students headed off to the library to work on a final paper, only to return a minute later to give me a big hug.
"I just realized I might not see you again," she said.
I've had a wonderful time teaching at Carleton off and on since 2006. Carleton students are exceptionally bright and friendly and engaged, and I've enjoyed every minute I've spent in the classroom with them.
Now it's time for something new. Tomorrow afternoon, I'm heading down to Faribault to serve as a judge for the science fair at the Cannon River STEM School, and in two weeks I start teaching a class for the Cannon Valley Elder Collegium. The class is called "America and the Classics," focusing primarily on the influence of the Greek and Roman classics on the American Founders. I've also been working with a Prairie Creek Community School fifth grader to assemble his honors project on Ancient Greece, and I've started working with a St. Olaf senior planning a summer internship with Northfield.org. Finally, I've promised to translate Sophocles' Antigone for a production at Carleton in two or three years.
I'm sure I'll find plenty of uses for my time in my "retirement," but I'm still going to miss my students at Carleton very much.