It hit me when I least expected it.
Really, considering how I've slugged through the last 4 months thinking to myself to "C'mon gal, bear with it, bear with it, it'll be over soon and I can return home to make up for all the lost time...", nothing prepared me to actually feel sad today.
This afternoon the 20+ of us brought our poster presentations along to the reading difficulty class to deliver a summary of our final paper's research topic. I got mine printed out last minute at Staples, despite being told by the lady over the counter that I'd be waiting till at least 3pm for my print run.
The class started at 2.40. At 2.30, she hands me a stack of the slides, plus 10 copies of handouts to boot. Phew.
Toward the end, as the long hand of the clock on the wall ticked past 12, and the short hand pointed unflinchingly at 5pm, it was time to say goodbye. Not content to let the clock have the last word, I gathered to class round for a final group picture.
And surprised myself to feel the warm tide of tears rise up from inside my nose to just brim around my eyes as I did so.
So here we are, class of 2008, Harvard Graduate School of Ed:
For someone like me, who's not sticking around for the real deal - filing down the line in Harvard Regalia, gown, hood, mortar board and all.... on June 5, to collect the certificate, shuffle over to listen to JK Rowling, and then say my teary goodbyes - this is going to be as much of a closure as I think I can get.
I will miss the friends I made here - my L&L and JCRL ladies, my teachers, these crazy few months - gosh can't believe I'm able to say that too!