So long ASL.
It's Been Very Good
to Know You!
Letting go of place also involves letting go of the law school I have called home for 13 years.
It involves letting go of my faculty colleagues at the Appalachian School of Law, many of whom are also in the midst of a transition to a new job and locale.
It involves giving up a large office I've loved on the "library side" of the award-winning building that houses the law school.
It means leaving a community where service was at the core of operations for many of us -- service to the school, the students, the profession, and the community.
I joined the ASL faculty the summer after the shootings that left our acting Dean, Tony Sutin, a beloved professor Tom Blackwell, and a student, Angela Dales, dead from gunshot wounds. The shooting also left three other students gravely injured. I was prideful enough to think that my dispute resolution skills might offering some deeper healing to a community scarred by the tragedy. Instead, I think I did help two of the victims -- just by being present when they needed me.
My many students have taught me how to teach. Yes, I read just about everything published on the topic of active learning, but the once-semester evaluations always enlighten me. I love my students and the successful professionals our alumni have become. They created better lives for themselves and their families because they took advantage of the educational program we offered.
I want to especially thank my Assistant, Sandy Baker, who is professional, timely, persistent, supportive, and smart. She serves more faculty members than any one Assistant should and does it with patience and grace.
I will be letting go of the 300 flower bulbs I planted on campus the same day I fractured my leg in three places. Those daffodils and other early spring flowers always make me feel happy and connected to all the other gardeners who love the message they bring.
Her husband, Stewart, has also been a good friend, rarely missing an opportunity to give me a warm hug.
Hardest of all, I have decided to pitch the ADR materials I have collected for over decade that now fill 12 lateral file drawers. That's been a tough decision to make, but letting go is never easy.
I could say so much more, but won't. As the firm day of my departure for Qatar approaches - August 15 -- I have moments in which tears well in the corners of my eyes. This place. This path. This learning. These folks.