It's that time of year when you can't turn around with bumping into another graduation. I think my version of Spring allergies is the sentimentality that seems to hit me as I attend these events, when suddenly the students that annoy me to no end with their inability to follow directions (particularly deadlines) seem dear to me and I get a little misty eyed watching them leaving the school nest. Even though most of them don't even know who I am, and I was thinking just a month or two ago that some of them could not possibly be competent enough to become doctors. Though to be fair, most of my interactions are with the 1st and 2nd year med students. I think it's probably safe to assume that somewhere between there and 4th year they get things together. In fact, I probably never interacted with most of yesterday's graduates, which makes my wistfulness even weirder.
It was the same last year when I worked at the girl's school. I had only been there a few short months, but the girls still gave me a Starbucks gift card on Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day (and even pronounced my name right) and I suddenly felt so attached to them at graduation. Some weird pride swelling up in my chest as though I had personally helped them achieve that diploma.
Sentimentallergies, I'm telling you.
This year as I photographed the DPT awards, I couldn't help but see it all as though Jeff were the one graduating, even though he still has another long year before that happens. It feels like he's graduating though, because after he takes the Comp exam looming over us he will leave campus for internships. This means I will no longer be getting to have lunch with him every day. Even worse, it means he won't be able to carry my lunch in his backpack when it doesn't fit in my purse, and he won't be able to take all my stuff home with him when I decide I want to run home from work. I suppose the silver lining is that my feelings won't be hurt anymore when he tells me he would rather study than eat lunch with me (that's how I hear it, at least.)
I can picture it all now - Jeff in those billowing blue robes, goofy hat on his head. Me in some really fantastic dress with a wad of kleenex in one hand. Our family and loved ones there (save the date, everyone!) Fantastic photos by all of the monuments. Jeff having a job lined up. It's beautiful, I tell you.
I need to remember the end when we're stuck in the middle, with Jeff so focused on studying that I never see anything but the back of his head, me working all kinds of evenings and weekends, and we're both so exhausted we can barely muster up the energy to argue about who should have been responsible for thinking about putting some food on the table. Next Spring (and probably many of the Springs to come) I'll be looking back fondly on these days and sniffing.