As Valentine’s Day approaches – a dreaded holiday for the single and unattached (and most men, who feel forced to be spontaneously romantic on that day) - I’d like to send a Valentine message of a different kind. It’s not to my sweetheart (sorry, honey), but to those who make working at Lynn not just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill job – the students, MY students. Well, they’re not technically mine. I’m not even a mentor this year. But over the semesters and years, I’ve been exposed to and worked closely with our department’s student workers.
And when they graduate and leave me (okay, again, I know it’s not personal), I think we’ll never find such wonderful students again. Laura, my fellow Knight Writer, hires and supervises this merry band of students and I’ll give her a VD shout out as well for 1) finding such great and talented students, and 2) working with them in a way that really challenges them and helps them to meet their potential. Each semester they start out a little green and unsure, and by the time they graduate, they have honed their skills and have really grown and developed. It’s wonderful to see it happen before your eyes.
So, when Tammy (a blogger in her own “right” who also manages her fellow student bloggers) popped by my office the other day with a sweet Valentine note saying: “Thank you for always making me smile. I’m gonna miss you when I graduate,” attached to sippy cup bear holding a big heart, it made my heart full (okay, a bit corny, but it is Valentine’s Day, after all). It made me both sad and happy – sad because in a few short months I have to once again say goodbye as most of our student workers graduate and make their way in the world; and happy to have the opportunity to witness and be a part of their growing process.
Over the years, I’ve said a fond farewell to many of our student workers, AFs and graduate assistants, and watched them leave the Lynn nest and fly out into their future. I continue to follow several of them through their Facebook postings: new jobs, marriages, babies. Two of our student workers even met and fell in love right under our very noses. I noticed them working a little closer than normal as they sat side by side at the conference table. I could tell it was blossoming into more than a typical working relationship, and sure enough I was right. And now, they’re getting married!
So, you see, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about mushy, lovely dovey stuff. It can also be a day to show some general appreciation to those you care about. So, to all the student workers I’ve had the pleasure of working with and getting to know – past and present (you know who you are) – Happy Valentine’s Day!