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FINALS

End of semester brings woe to students and faculty alike. I’ve discovered again, for the umpteenth time, that the  assessment side of education is the part whose company I would most like to part with. (I don’t really care that I’m dangling a preposition either) The final exams prepared by the instructors must be written by the students, and finally assessed by the instructor. It’s a mad circle. Learn. Teach. Assess. Learn. Revise. Teach. Learn. Is it ever over? Who speaks the final word?!?!?!

Pause………………….

Weather-wise, today will be simply gorgeous. Trees in bloom, lush grass, and a happy little pup to make this end of April truly delightful. I hear that April 30 is dubbed “Honesty Day.” Long under the impression that honesty matters, I have often chosen the ‘brutal’ path — beating folks over the head with my own opinions, and proclaiming, in all honesty, the facts of any particular matter. In that fashion then, let me be honest for a moment:

Final exams aren’t final. They merely signal a stopping point. A pause in the vast array of learning. A checkpoint, Charlie. A ‘stopping by woods, with miles still to go.’ A ‘road taken.’ A reflection, after hearing the ‘learn’d astronomer.’ So, tonight, I think I’ll go, and ‘gaze, in perfect silence, at the stars.’ Do a bit of my own final assessment. Realize that learning never ceases, and that the lecture hall and the art gallery and the novel and the starry sky have something to teach me. And, as a teacher, I will learn. So that I might teach. And that, my friends, is just fine. And final.

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