Reflecting on Endings

OlinskiBy Matthew Olinski — My students recently had a project in which they were in the computer lab doing research on topics they would later give presentations on in class.

As is the case at times, some students began to look up subjects other than their topics, including information about me.  It is no secret to them that I am a student at Marquette. In fact, they ask quite often how things are going. Some of them discovered this blog, and it was interesting to hear some of their comments.

They wanted to know why I had used my yearbook picture for my first blog. One of the comments was, “No one is going to follow you if you use serious pictures.”  I used it as a teaching opportunity — to discuss discuss why this is more of a professional blog and not necessarily the place for posting silly pictures.

But, their comments made me think about all the endings that I was experiencing this week.

For instance, this is the last blog for me of the semester. I have truly enjoyed being able to write down my thoughts on education every two weeks.  It was also humorous to see the reactions to students when they did read the blogs I wrote.  I’m looking forward to the possibility of continuing on at some point and at some level in the future.

My AP European History class took their national test this week, and I’m sure they are excited to be done with that. Although I prepare constantly for all of my classes, theses students are relying on me to impart the knowledge and skills to take and hopefully successfully pass this test, and most of them are sophomores, which makes it no easy task. This is the first AP level class available at the school, and their skill development level is heavily placed into my hands. It is very rewarding however, as I’ve come to see over the past two years.

I had my final evaluation of the school year. It went well, thank you.  I did not dread this conversation as much this year as I remember from past years, so that is always a positive note.  Once the final evaluations begin to be finished, that means the end of the k-12 school year is near as well. I believe there are 13 school days left with students this year. When you quantify the amount, it seems like the time has gone so fast.

I also finished my master’s degree this week. Graduation was the culmination of a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice, both on the part of myself and my family for the long hours I have put in. By the time you read this, I will have walked across the stage and listened to Bill Cosby give an inspiring speech.

And so my final thought in closing this post is a to everyone else who is meeting with endings as I am this week, including this weekend’s graduates — congratulations, good luck, and remember the lessons that you have learned while attending Marquette.

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