I have had to spend a great deal of time and energy thinking about and dealing with the charges leveled against my colleagues, and I am fatigued, tired, worn out, weary, and pooped.
But last night I was reminded why I do what I do.
My Physics 213 students have spent three (long!) semesters with me in PHY 211, 212, and 213. It may be a bit egotistical for me to say this, but I believe my engineering and science majors are the best students Rio Hondo has, and I am privileged to able to teach and mentor them. I make sure they work hard, and they return the favor. I frustrate them with all my questions, and they frustrate me when they don't get it as fast or as deeply as I want them, too.
So after these three semesters which now seems to have gone too fast , I take them out to Pizza Mania, and we spend a couple of hours away from the books and the classroom. The conversation can go from what we're doing during the break to where they are transferring, to some research one student is doing with rats and methamphetamine, and then to this crazy video of a solar flare passing Mercury.
What I have always come away with from this event - including a full stomach - is that they get it. They understand what they've been doing these past three semesters.
As we left the restaurant and said goodbye, they all said "thanks," and I realize there's one thing they didn't get. It's that I thank them for everything they've done for themselves.