And so…another semester ends. Bring on the nostalgia!

My Time at Carolina—By the Numbers

Number of years: 8
Number of semesters: 16
Number of classes: 20
Number of students: approximately 350
Number of short stories read and edited (very approximately): 670
Number of short assignments: too many to count. Thousands!
Number of books published when I started: 1
Number now, as I am leaving for a year off: 6
Number of weeks between quitting waitressing at Flying Burrito and starting teaching in Creative Writing program: 1
Number of panic attacks I had about this transition: about four
Number of marriages and new houses since my first teaching semester: 2, one of each
Number of end of year kickball games: 4
Number of time hit in face with kickball: 1
Number of kickballs caught today to score out for my team: 1
Number of independent studies: 2 (Hi Jenny and Courtney!)
Number of fathers with offices two doors down from mine during entire teaching career: 1, who is also officially done with classes as of today, albeit after
thirty-plus years, not a mere 8
Number of students I am still in touch with: more than I ever would have imagined
Number of times I have used the terms “full story,” and “streamlining”: at least a million
Number of gongs used as teaching aides: 1 (Chadwick, are you out there?)
Number of home runs scored by my team in end-of-semester kickball game today: 7? (Kelly knows, she was keeping score)
Number of home runs scored by other team: many, many more than 7
Number of revisions I have left to read before being officially done: 21
Number of times today I felt myself getting choked up: at least 2
Number of times in last eight years I have thought how lucky I am to have this job: too many to count. Thousands.

Eight years is a long time. I’ve been fortunate to have a fabulous officemate, wise and funny colleagues, and most of all, great students, this semester, every semester. I can think of no better way to take my leave than with a kickball game on the quad at nine–thirty am. Even if my team didn’t win.

have a good day, everyone!