Hard as it is for me to believe, the 2012 Oberlin-in-London Program has reached the finish line. As I said in this post in the Oberlin Blogs, the semester was a tremendous success, one which I think all the students--and certainly the faculty--will remember as a real highpoint, both educationally and otherwise. On the last day of my class, the students talked in quite personal terms about the value of the program, and it was clear that many of them are already aware of how much more self-confident and independent they feel than when they arrived in London fourteen weeks ago. Tears were shed. Hugs were exchanged. And I suspect that, as they fly back to the States and interact with their family and friends, they will continue to realize the ways in which the program has had a lasting impact on how they think and feel.
It's not just the students who feel that way, of course. Teaching a program this intimate and intensive, you can't help getting attached. I'm in London for another couple of weeks, taking advantage of the chance to enjoy yet more theater and museums and excursions--and yet I find myself missing the opportunity to share these experiences with my students and discuss them in class. Fortunately, previous experience suggests that, like swans and elephants, London Program students tend to bond for life. I look forward to our reunion in Oberlin in the fall, and I suspect I'm not alone in that.
This weekend the whole program gathered at the home of Donna Vinter, our administrative director, for lunch and the chance to hang out together one last time before heading home. Here are some glimpses of the festivities: