Saying so long

by Jeffrey Carter

Over nearly 30 years, I have taught hundreds of voice students.  

Today I said a loving ‘so long’ to two of the most delightful students . . . two of the sweetest guys I know . . . two remarkable actors who will leave Saint Louis for the last time while I’m away later this week.

So a farewell dinner at Pho Grand was in order.  And gelato.

Four years ago, I wrote:

“We faculty feel something just as powerful, but more nuanced, for we know that our job is teach, inspire, impart, and love these students for a while, then send them on to the next step in their journey. Our journey is filled with a cycle of welcome/goodbye, something that happens every year. That longer view doesn’t lessen the loss we feel when a special student, a keen and eager and talented young musician and scholar, crosses the stage for the last time at college. But the longer view does help with some perspective and clarity.

“That I still say prayers of thanksgiving by name for some of my high school and college teachers (and mentors) is a testament of the long view that they took years ago in imparting their knowledge and wisdom to me. They paid it forward. I trust that I’m doing the same.”

These two are special students, with a wondrous bright future ahead of them.  

And I’m keenly feeling the bittersweetness of this ‘so long.’