Here’s a little something for Flashback Friday from the days just before I moved to Rome. This entry is dated July 14, 2006:

Today was my last day at William Paterson University. I had two students to meet, final paperwork to fill out, and keys to return. My office is now bare except for the few books I am leaving for the next person and my highly coveted sugar skull made for me by a student who did a Dia del Muerte project two years ago. I’m leaving it for Lauren R. who will hopefully take over my classes this Fall.

I really couldn’t have asked for better colleagues. Tina, our secretary gave me a nice silver bracelet to remember her by. I was in her office when my boss David asked me to come to the meeting down the hall “because we have a question.”

There was no question! There was a cake with candles and a nice gathering of my favorite William Paterson buddies. David was sweet enough to have made a custom illustrated card which was signed by all present. Photos were taken and I was told that I would be missed. Usually when I leave a job, I yell “Woohoo! I’m free!” Today, as I left the parking lot with friend Steve, I felt sad but did my best not to look back at the Ben Shahn building which has been a home for me the last four and a half years.

I’m a sucker for dwelling on the past, so I’ll try to look forward. On Sunday when I move, it will be the end of the new beginning that started in August of 1999 when I first moved to Brooklyn for graduate school. One thing I even knew back then though was that this area was only meant to be a temporary stop. My goal was to some day move to a Mediterranean country.