On the way home tonight I stopped by one of Tuscaloosa’s renowned watering holes – The Houndstooth – to join my first years in celebrating the end of finals. I’m a bit of a nostalgic, I must admit, and I felt very wistful chatting with these favorite students, learning about their summer plans, and wishing them good luck for the next few months and the rest of their careers. Every prof has to deal with the annual separation event that is graduation. But when you leave an institution – when you become an Alabama ex-pat screaming Roll Tide in some West Philly taproom – you have to say goodbye to all your students all at once. For me, that’s tough. So I felt a bit blue as I chatted with folks charging off to be pre-DA’s, pre-disability advocates, and pre-death penalty lawyers (don’t worry – corporate America will find somebody to serve as in-house counsel in 2020…just not these people.) And while I drove home in the dusky light, an hour long trek between Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, I found myself hoping that some of these students would actually take me up on my offer to stay in touch.
Those are just the 1L’s. Graduation is Saturday. Grab that Kleenex, Nellie. I see showers on the horizon.