Saying something like goodbye

By Leah Kind

Saying goodbye isn’t easy. There’s this pressure to leave a lasting impression, be witty and urbane, yet profound and inspirational, all at the same time. When faced with the prospect of having to make a final say, human beings tend (as in our culinary appetites) toward the expansive, the over-the-top. There is the feeling that closing words must encapsulate everything and pull loose ends together in a neat little package.

I can completely sympathize with Pancho Villa, whose dying words were, “Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.”

And I’m sure tomorrow, or the next day, the perfect words and the absolutely dead-on phrases to sum it all up will come to me. But, as my life has always been somewhat the theater of the absurd, I shall simply have to blunder on.

As you all (“all” equaling six, eight if we count online readers) painstakingly pour over these words, you should be ready for exams. But rather than launch into a predictable finals week tirade with platitudes aplenty (And really, what is the deal with proctors? Could they be any nosier!?), I thought I would take this opportunity for a tiny bit of reflection.

You see, for me, this spring doesn’t just bring the same tedium of papers, finals and anxiety about another academic year quickly gone; it brings about true upheaval. After a sojourn at NIU wrought with frustration, hilarity, anxiety, friendships made, broken and forged anew, merriment and all those types of clichéd statements about the memories that will last forever, the time has come for me to be moving on. So, despite the eye-rolling that usually accompanies any sort of schmaltzy farewell piece, I must, at least a little, dip my toe of commemoration tribute into the creek of sentimentality, and hope it comes out cleaner than the actual Kishwaukee River. Please permit me, as I can almost guarantee it shall be the last indulgence.

I would like to thank all the students I’ve taught throughout the years, and man, there’s been a bunch of you! There have been the sleepers, the whiners, the suck-ups, the belligerent and the hung-over. Some of you I loved, some of you drove me completely nuts, but all of you helped me (in your own unique ways) to become a better teacher, and for that, I salute you.

I would also like to express my deep gratitude to all of the teachers who I’ve had the honor of learning from while here. Being able to view the classroom from both sides of the proverbial desk allows one a greater appreciation for what teachers must actually contend with, and from experience, I’m able to say they are rarely given the sincere accolades they deserve.

And finally, thanks to you, the intangible yet omniscient NIU community. You are what gives this campus its unique flavor (like barbecue chicken), its style (shorts with ironic butt-script, tiny tank tops) and its attitude (so sassy!). It’s been great knowing you, teaching you and learning from you, getting ridiculed by you and being one of you.

So, goodbye quickly disappearing psychedelic library carpet! Goodbye taped church-bells chiming out the Huskie fight song! Goodbye mercurial football team! Goodbye Subway folks who always remembered my order! Goodbye windy days! Goodnight socks, goodnight moon.

And in the words of another immortal figure: Seacrest out.

Columns reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Northern Star staff.