At 5:00 p.m. on Friday, I placed my re-cycling wastebasket outside my office door just as I have every Friday for years. I shut down my computer and printer. I looked at the walls, stripped of pictures and paintings, bare except for the hooks that once held everything in place.
And I retired.
Earlier in the day, I had looked for my new student locker. I was pleased by its location—someone is looking out for me. I put a box of tissues and an emergency umbrella in the locker and taped a picture of my family to the inside of the door. I think it will hold my lunch, a couple of books, and my laptop. But compared to my 12 ft. x 10 ft. office…
The rest of the day was almost like any other. Returning students coming to seek my advice, my direct reports with just one more question, my yet-to-be-named successor’s new boss telling me she is worried about not having me around for my advice. When students found out that I was leaving, they were pleased that I wasn’t going far—just to the classrooms they go to. I’m pleased too.
I grabbed my backpack and my bicycle helmet, and turned off the light.