I’ve always been the kind of student who went home on the weekends. And who could blame a girl? Campus is dead, there’s never ANYTHING to do… Or is there? This past weekend, I chose to stay in Raymond. This is a very rare occasion, but since I had a big paper to work on I figured I would save a little gas money. Now as nice as Allen Dukes Whitaker is, a girl can get very bored staring at four walls and a computer for hours at a time. Eventually I decided that I would go get some exercise and walk around the block for a little while. Not gonna lie, I was avoiding working on that paper.
It's that time of year again, you know, the one of leaves falling and students contemplating their next moves. I have the bittersweet feeling of letting go, preparing myself as students move on to other courses, teachers, paths, just as I have truly begun to know and appreciate their diverse personalities. This time of year, I find myself meandering across campus in the early a.m. light and considering more than what I will cook for dinner later.
Instead, I mull over what to say to my students, especially as the semester approaches its closing with some of them considering withdrawing, perhaps even giving up completely. I can relate to those feelings of frustration and almost resignation. When I was an undergraduate at Mississippi State, I too had those feelings of being in a rat-race of papers, exams, responsibilities, bills, social events, family drama, work schedules. The list goes on. In fact, I withdrew the spring semester of my sophomore year. First of all, I was facing the dilemma of changing my major from Secondary Education to English, but that decision was not even remotely as stressful as knowing that my father was near death in a hospital bed of UAB.
Most people who move to the little town of Raymond don’t realize that it is sitting on hallowed ground. It’s hard to believe that 150 years ago, Raymond was a battle field. This battle of Raymond would pave the way to Vicksburg and the famous, fateful battle that occurred on the Mississippi river. Imagine the men in uniform, the ground shaking from cannon fire, and the sound of cavalry. Sounds pretty cool, right?