Until the next time…

I hosted the girls for dinner last night – the end of the semester celebration and thank you for their efforts on Protect Our Breasts. It was so fun. We laughed until we cried, just like we had done since the beginning of the year, much to the chagrin of the neighboring professors.

It wasn’t the best dinner party I have ever thrown. Alex ate the chicken when she isn’t eating poultry as a rule. I have a responsibility along with the mentoring influence and I forgot that in Alex’s case. Encouraging the girls to stick to their principals is part of the job.

Two of the girls, Gabrielle and Alex, will stay on and the three who are graduating will be sorely missed. However, their writing will be posted throughout the summer and may continue on into the fall. Each one has had a profound effect on the project. (On the far right above) Carrie’s mother had breast cancer and her writing reflects a deep awareness of the daily risks we take, whether it is microwaving in plastic or cooking with Teflon. Devon (second in from the right) has experienced more spiritual coincidences around her writing and research on water than I think I have ever witnessed in a student. Her level of organization raised the bar for everyone’s research contributions.

And then there is Elise. She is the giggler in our photo and in our lives. Amused by the simple things in life, Elise often lightened the load of this difficult and sad subject.  She assisted me in the autumn through the six weeks of radiation for my own breast cancer and carried me, literally, through six weeks of recovery from the head-first-down-the-staircase-accident three months ago.  I will be forever grateful.

As the party was winding down, I reminded the girls it isn’t over. As the project proceeds, there will be many times for us to come back together again, as the founding group. As we said our goodbyes, I found almost everyone had a reason to meet with me one last time in the next week. Thank Goodness, I’m just not ready. You often hear of those professors who make a difference in the lives of students, but rarely do hear about those phenomenal students who change the lives of those professors. It is the down side of teaching, really, having to say goodbye so often to those you come to love.

And yet, this time, it really is not goodbye, but just not as often seen. Thank you so much Carrie, Devon and Elise. Congratulations on being graduates of the UMass Isenberg School of Business. Until the next time…

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