Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Each year around April 1st, I seem to hit a wall. My energy starts to run out. I inevitably succumb to a spring cold. My appointment calendar goes from packed to overflow with early evening appointments to fit everyone in who needs a session. On top comes a round of deadlines. My students start to talk about survival, and I begin to feel that I know what they mean.
Just in time the two weeks of exams arrive. My calendar becomes mostly quiet except for appointments for students requiring pep talks and reassurance following panic attacks. I work on projects, interview students for various student positions, monitor the hiring of Tutors, and try to sort out the piles that have built for 12 months on my credenza. I also begin to process the year and list the accomplishments.
However, what really makes me take notice that all the hard work was worthwhile is the stream of students stopping by to chat. They want to share how their exams went. We reflect together on their academic and personal growth during the year. They come to say thank you for the hours we spent working on study skills. They bring me cards and notes. Some come to share good news - a clerkship, an engagement, a journal position for fall. Others come to say goodbye before graduation.
It may sound corny, but at this time of year more than any other I realize that many of my students are like family. I know their hopes and dreams. I know their struggles and obstacles. They have voiced their fears and worries. We have celebrated their triumphs. I have spoken hard truths to them. I have voiced encouragement. I have offered a quiet place to cry.
The value of ASP work goes beyond a salary or office budget or other monetary price tag. It goes beyond low probation rates or high bar passage rates. Those things are important, but do not measure alone the value of ASP. Our jobs are value-added because much of what we do each day is not measured by dollars and cents. The support we offer our students is beyond measure.
I am privileged to have the opportunity to be a blessing to others. And those others are a blessing to me. (Amy Jarmon)