This morning, I told my Creative Writing class (while passing out their final exams) that I wasn't ready to "let go" of the class yet. And I meant it. Thankfully, this particular class has been amazing. They've attended class faithfully (and seemed to enjoy it). They've shared their work willingly (in fact, many times, they ASKED me if they could share, rather than my asking them). They've supported and encouraged each other. Yes, I'm sad to see them go.
Sure, I'll probably wave to a couple of them in the hall next semester, or might hear from one or two of them in the future, by email, updating me on their writing accomplishments. But as far as this particular mix of people being together in the same room in the future? It'll never happen again. And that's sort of sad.
This leads me to think about the unique bond that writers share. I get to see this in person, as I teach my classes. Students in Creative Writing classes, above all others, seem to have an immediate connection with one another, almost from the start. Strangers when they first enter, they soon develop strong friendships and bonds. (This rarely occurs in other English classes). These students speak the same language, share the same passions and frustrations about writing, have the same creative natures.
I think that's why it's challenging to say good-bye to these students. A few of them even wrote on their exams that they're sad to see the class end - that it was their favorite class, and that they'll miss the camaraderie (and writing deadlines!). That's not so much a tribute to me, as it is to the bonding they've done with each other, as a class, as a unit. Extremely special.
So, today, I'm thankful for the unspoken bond that all writers, to some degree, seem to share. Writing is an isolating endeavor - but a class like the one I've just been privileged to teach reminds me of the importance of getting out there, communicating with other writers, and gaining the courage to share your work, share your insecurities and dreams with them. It's important now and then to be reminded that we have comrades out there - comrades who know exactly what we're going through, as writers.