Yesterday, at approximately 6:13 pm, I hovered above a list of names and student numbers, hesitating. Below me was the last little box I would ever have to initial to state that, yes, I completed my exam and, yes, I would like to go have a pint now.
Well, the last one at York University anyway.
I always thought that I would hand in my final exam with a little more panache–you know, I’d set it down like a tiara and waltz out of the classroom…maybe even kiss the unsuspecting cheek of someone still scribbling their madness.
Instead, I gave the invigilator a polite nod, adjusted my backpack and quietly saw myself out.
As I emerged from the Stedman Lecture Halls, I walked in a sort of half-daze toward the previously agreed-upon pub. It wasn’t until I took a hearty sip of my pint that it sort of hit me: I will never again write another exam as an undergraduate student.
I was actually a little sad–particularly because Jerry, our professor, wouldn’t (couldn’t) join us yesterday. Jerry is undergoing cancer treatment and has had to tele-conference with us for the better part of the year. Although the novelty of pressing a button on a mic to speak was, well, pretty awesome…I can’t say that I didn’t miss the physical presence of our storytelling prof.
As we raised our glasses and dedicated a little toast to him, I really did wonder what he was up to. We sent him a card with the exams (featuring the image above) so hopefully it will make him chuckle.
I guess the point is that I thought I would be gloating at the finish line. Instead, I’m pretty damn grateful.
Jerome “Jerry” Durlak passed away on May 21st, 2010. He was an incredible man with a brilliant mind and a big heart. He will be sorely missed.