Last Day Flowers
My wonderful MBA students gave me flowers last night and most all of us agreed that we want to keep the class going. So hard to believe we will no longer be meeting every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Some say they want to take another class from me next fall since I’m not teaching summer session. Both classes seemed to like each other as classmates and were constructive while being supportive in their comments when evaluating each others’ speeches. We had six nights in the whole semester that were devoted to informative and persuasive speeches. We were fortunate to have foreign guests come observe, comment and question on all these nights except for one of last night’s classes. Most of my students had ambivalent feelings about having outsiders come in to view and hear their speeches.
For me, it helped because it is difficult to be objective as their teacher and getting outside opinions about the delivery of their speeches put things in perspective when I have to give the final grade. For the students, to prepare a speech for a real audience of native speakers of English puts an added pressure to perform well with passion, to get their point across, to speak to the back of the room with good eye contact and to handle questions that inevitably come up afterwards. For our guests, they were jazzed about hearing non-native speakers accomplish giving a speech with interesting content in this academic setting.
Yes indeed, I will miss these bright, young graduate students. Some will be walking across the stage on May 23rd for the commencement exercise. I will be so proud of them as I sit in the audience of the big auditorium. One gal last night, as she was helping me clean up the drinks and snacks that I had for our foreign guests because our classes met during the dinner hour, said that my class was her very last class. She seemed a bit melancholy about it. Another male student told me last night that he has been working hard on the planning committee for this great occasion of leaving our university with his newly minted masters degree. I wish them all well, I am thinking of the quote from Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I told my first class last night that the flowers they had given me on International Women’s Day almost two months ago had sprouted green leaves in their stalks. For some reason, these cut flowers were extra fresh and lasted well beyond two weeks. What was amazing was they started sprouting in the water. I have kept them to see if they will grow into a plant eventually. If so, there is life after being cut as fresh flowers. My students are my fresh cut, “Last Day Flowers!” Thank you dear students!!!