After I posted last night about feeling as if academia is sucking my passionate and political engagements out of me, I taught my last class in my 100-level course today. The Intro course. The end of the year. And I remembered that I need to focus on this part more, because it engages both my passion and my politics.
Two students baked cupcakes for the class, unexpectedly - fresh strawberry cupcakes with little course-related images on them in icing. The class and I had a fairly loose discussion about what the course has done for them, and they basically talked about it changing the way they think and even the way they live. Some hung around afterward, not wanting to part. They said they didn't want to leave, that they were sad it was over and wished it could go on all summer. Geez. That's important, to put it mildly. That I'm involved in producing that kind of passion and engagement in others. That reinvigorates me. (Even if it won't get me tenure.)