The sweet, sad final days

I’m posting from URock, and it’s strangely quiet, considering it’s finals week. There are a few students milling about, and some hard-core math finals taking place. And there’s a freezer full of ice cream, courtesy of the Student Association. What a treat to have a sweet pick-me-up while studying or taking tests or blogging, for that matter. Thank you SA! Although this could be dangerous – me and free ice cream? Yes, please.

I’m feeling rather bittersweet tonight. This afternoon we had our last Brontë class, complete with our final presentations and a version of a Victorian party. I wish I’d thought to bring my camera to class so I could share a glimpse of some of the goodies: tea, cucumber sandwiches, scones, cheese and crackers (featuring Heathcliff and Edgar Linton cheese choices!), sugar cookies, and caramel cake (almost all of this was created by Amanda). And there was an amazing, massive chocolate cake, courtesy of John (incidentally, the only male in our class). When he set down his cake, decorated with purple sugar to simulate the heather on the moors, the rest of us practically rose to our feet in wonder. I don’t know what it is about chocolate that makes women respond that way, but there it is.

I had such a lovely surprise when my professor and classmates presented my with a book of Brontë poems as a graduation gift and a memento of my ONLY live class at University of Maine at Augusta. Everyone wrote sweet messages inside, wishing me well. I’m quite moved.

So here I am, in the quiet of the final days of the semester, the final days of my 6 years of college, thumbing through this book of poems, and thinking about my classmates. I came upon a poem that surprised me with its aptness. It was written by Branwell, the only Brontë brother. I think over the course of the semester we all developed a melancholy fondness for poor Branwell.

Here is an excerpt from Augusta:

Augusta! Though I’m far away

Across the dark blue sea,

Still eve and morn and night and day

Will I remember Thee!

And, though I cannot see thee nigh

Or hear thee speak to me,

Thy look and voice and memory

Shall not forgotten be.

I stand upon this Island shore,

A single hour alone,

And see the Atlantic swell before

With sullen surging tone…

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2 Responses to The sweet, sad final days

  1. What a great posting. I felt a strange sadness, too, when my teaching classes were done. I miss the fun of having classmates, hearing fun stories of their lives, and the aha! moments of learning new things. Maybe some day we both will go back. :-) I love the Branwell Bronte poem too. Thank you!

    • Hi Betsyanne, yes, it’s an odd combination of sadness and excitement – and probably fatigue ;-) I’ve been doing this for 6 years and it’s strange to have it end. I’m glad you like the poem.

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