Thursday, December 11, 2008

Last Supper (or Lunch really)

We had planned to have our "last supper" at Pampo's at 8pm today since some students have to leave on Friday (despite clear  instructions to the contrary), but another Acqua Alta was forecasted for 11pm (140cm), so we decided to have a "last lunch" instead, around 2pm, right after the last presentation at UNESCO.  As always, it was a bittersweet occasion. 
We were all elated that the presentations were over and the projects had been a great success, but at the same time, it dawned on all of us that this would likely be the last time we'd all be together as a group.  We raised our glasses and toasted each other many times and Paul and I had our last chance to address the group to remind them how far we had all come from our tentative beginnings in August to the confidence and pride we all shared today.  
I pointed out to them that, as tough as the IQP is, it is also that much more rewarding when we cross the finish line.  It truly mirrors "real life" (unlike many traditional academic programs) by creating a context in which personal growth and transformation can occur, above and beyond the subject matter of the project.  For many students, it's a life-changing experience and for me it has been, and continues to be, the most rewarding aspect of my professional life.
All too soon, we were outside for a group picture and then off to the VPC office for more last minute printing, binding and even meetings.  
"It ain't over until the Marangona tolls" as we say in Venice...
(actually I made this one up, because the "fat lady sings" seems not very politically correct as it disparages weight-challenged singers)