Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I can't call it "Empty Nest Syndrome" because they are not my kids. But, I still feel melancholy as they move on to adulthood. From EMH.

One of my favorite students started basic cadet training at West Point today. I came to know him as a very dedicated student over the years, so I grew to enjoy working with him. His parents hired me when he was 15, the same year he joined the Sea Cadets. It was an honor to have been part of helping this young man make it this far, yet I found myself staring off into space today wondering where the time had gone. Worrying. Did I do enough for him? Maybe I just hope he doesn't get himself killed.

I wanted to get him a gift. I never got one because I just couldn't figure out what would be appropriate. That kind of thing has always been extremely difficult for me.

I have two other students who are getting ready to begin their college experience at UC Santa Cruz. One is going to study Robotics and the other will be studying Environmental Science. Their mom hired me when they were 15 too and I have grown to enjoy working with them as well.

They are fraternal twins (ie. not identical) but with almost opposite personalities. One likes to clown and have fun. The other also clowns a bit but is more serious about life. You know, it's funny because they just turned 18 and the clowny one was poking his brother yesterday while meowing. Yet, they are very bright kids. Maybe a bit easily distracted but very bright and with good hearts too!

We've been working on some STEM work this summer. Dear God, it's Santa Cruz! You aren't under mom's wing anymore. Things will be there that will present themselves as huge temptations. Don't get yourself high! Don't let the girls break your heart. And above all stay away from the sharks!

How quickly they grow up.

Make it count guys!


  1. The best possible gift you could give your former student at West Point would be for you to write him a letter, encouraging him, to arrive during the middle (and most difficult part) of his training, about four weeks from now. It will boost his morale a whole lot, one reason being he will expect it about as much as a letter from Santa Claus. For a fictional, but not far off the mark example, see "Starship Troopers," by Robert Heinlein (and not the execrable film of the same title).

  2. They can get into your heart, can't they? Finding that we've become emotionally invested in our students is definitely an occupational hazard.