I am elated. My grading is done. Done Done Done. Grades are submitted and I have another 24 hours of breathing room before my online summer class starts. I am celebrating with a Sex & the City marathon, re-reading the Hunger Games, making a master to-do list for the next 6 weeks and 3 days . . . and reminiscing . . .
I've been puffed with pride today because one of my forensics students was chosen to give the commencement address. So proud of the woman she has become. I've never told her, but she reminds me, in some ways, of my college roommate, L. I was one of those lucky, lucky freshpeople who was randomly paired with a roommate they actually liked. L and I were opposites academically - she was always dedicated to her business major homework, and I was rarely dedicated to my education major homework. But we were alike in so many other ways, and we grew to be great friends. We pledged the same sorority, sang in the traveling chamber choir, loved Bon Jovi, and dated our way through the male population at our tiny, private college.
After college, I went to grad school and L got married and started growing into her career in insurance. She had babies, I got a master's degree. As I worked through my first "real" coaching/teaching job in Missouri and then moved to WI and started building my career, we didn't talk as frequently. But when we did, it was like no time had passed.
Twenty-six years ago, we both graduated from Defiance College. (L's GPA was MUCH higher than mine!) Twenty-six years. And yet I can pick up the phone and our conversations pick up where we left off 3 or 5 or 8 months earlier. I can call her when I need support. I can call her when I need to laugh. I can call her and just listen. I am far removed from the woman I was who graduated college 26 years ago, but L is my touchstone, and can always bring me back, reminding me that there was a time we were young and thought we were invincible.