Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Requiem for an Era, Part 1

Every fall on the first Wednesday of classes, the Walton College holds a Block Party. It's basically a back to school event. We have music and giveaways, and the faculty grill hot dogs. Because it's at lunch time right in the middle of campus, there are always hundreds of people there. Today, as I was standing in the middle of the Block Party eating my free food and people watching, I felt my first wave of sadness over my impending transition. Don't get me wrong, I know beyond a doubt that I've made the right decision. Still, the U of A has been such a huge part of my life for so long that it's like moving away from a good friend.

I have been on this campus for the first day of classes every semester for the last 14 years. I've shared it with over 50,000 students. I've watched two football coaches, three basketball coaches, and two baseball coaches come and go. I've met wide eyed 18 year olds who are excited but nervous about their college experience, gotten to know them and tried to help them, and then cried when I saw them walk across the stage at commencement. This campus gave me my husband, my education, my career and so many of my dearest friends. I've spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 14,000 hours in my office, working for the school that I love so much. The U of A is a part of who I am. And after Friday, for the first time in my adult life, I will be looking at it from the outside.

Tomorrow my office is holding a going away party for me. People keep asking me if I'm excited to be so close to staying at home, and oh, I am, I AM. I don't think I'll miss my schedule, or probably even most of the work I do. But I will miss the place. And the people...that's why the party will be so hard for me. It's another topic entirely--that's why this is only Part 1.


Anonymous said...

I am sobing Nancy, thanks! :)
You have no idea how much this school and the people will miss you as well! You are a piece of this office and this University.
Thank you for being you!
I love you!

Alice said...

Leaving a job you like is so difficult. I still stay in touch with most of the places I worked in the past.

I totally understand the campus thing. I LOVE the fact that I now have a connection to UALR again. I graduated from there and worked there as well (as an interpreter) for several years. The campus is special to me and I LOVE the feeling I have when I am on campus there.

There are always visits back and lunch dates with friends in the future.

Enjoy your children while they are young.

Mandy said...

Sniff, sniff - it seems so sad when you phrase it that way. Although I know you are excited too :)

Anonymous said...

I'm happy, sad, and excited for you all at once! Is that possible? I know they will be missing you at the UofA, but there are several of us, at homers, that are VERY EXCITED about seeing more of you!!!! Have a wonderful Last Day!!!

Kori "o)

Anonymous said...

You put it so well, as usual! I'm glad you will be close enough geo-
graphically to do lunch sometimes, etc., with the many friends you have at U of A. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing you helped so many people with the transition of becoming adults and helping them prepare for their future. I'm proud of you!

Aunt Joyce

Mellie said...

No doubt about it, the hardest part about leaving a job is missing the people. But you settle in to your new routine and it gets better. I still go up to the high school I taught at for five years to touch base with people, and I know a lot of them look at my blog too (another way to keep in touch). :)