Now that I'm actually able to se the end of working here (May 21 will be last day), I'm having very strange reactions. I thought it would be like moving or graduating from school, that I'd be caught with nostalgia and see only the wonderful things that I hated to leave. Just the opposite. It's as though the only way I could stay here was to blind myself to the realities, and now that I can leave, I'm seeing the truth. I guess.
Anyway, I find myself very impatient with the faculty, the administration, and the students. I also find myself less willing to hide my frustration with some behavior. When students just don't bother to study for an exam, when faculty come to meetings to complain about lack of support from the administration but can't actually cite a case where that's happened, when administrators allow a good person to be fired for personal and political reasons, I really find what's happening is that I'm losing respect for them. And telling them, of course--never one to keep it all bottled up! Not all, of course. In most categories there are still some people who I admire, but I seem to be surrounded suddenly by people I don't respect.
Not that I'm great. I will be first to admit that, and have done it publicly, many times. I wonder if I'm just suddenly seeing this, or if people are changing. It may be too that I'm just learning to be more honest with myself as I grow older.
And then also there's the contrast with the ones I admire. Today one of the adjuncts came in in tears to cancel her class--her 2 year old son is being tested for autism. I couldn't really do anything but hug her and cry too--and I guess the frustration of not being able to help her any way, when she's been such an excellent, responsible, thoughful, committed teacher, made me even less patient with the full time instructor, making ten times her salary, who's having a complete hysterical breakdown because of having to teach one class he doesn't like. I really want to make them have to see themselves the way I see them--but I know I've got to do that with myself first.