can’t stop now don’t you know i ain’t never gonna let you go don’t go!

So Jen looked at me a few minutes before class today and went “Dylan?” I replied, “Jen?”. And she goes “You’re upset.” I admitted it, and she said “Let’s talk about it.” We didn’t really talk about it, so I think I’ll talk about it here.

We all got surprised the other day by Jen’s news that she has to give up her classes. I’m not the only one who hates it that she’ll be leaving. Most of us are dealing with mixed feelings about it; we feel happy for her because she’s great and she deserves this great opportunity. (If you’re one of those who don’t like Jen, I’m not talking to you. These are not the droids you’re looking for, move along.) But, of course, since she’s such a good and unique teacher we don’t want to lose her. This is a sad fact. Personally, I’d already decided to take Jen for 102 and it disappoints me so much that’s not going to happen now. To throw in another nerd reference, I would have gone with her to the end, into the very fires of Mordor.

thCA5BLUMD

 

Enough geekiness. Forgive me, it’s just my way of not getting too sad.

It’s really hard for me because of my touchy history with instructors. When I find one I really like and click with I just wish I could bottle their essence up and tuck them away safely on one of my mental shelves. This similar situation has happened to me before and I can’t help but get disappointed. There was my beloved 11th grade social studies teacher Mr. Schafer who I really wanted to get for government in 12th grade. Guess what? He was so good that he moved on to university level. Gone. Another time, in a college algebra course, Dr. Patterson made math alive and understandable to me in a magical way I’d never experienced before. Halfway through the semester, he retired to create his own investing business. Another gone.

And here we go again…

It’s only been a couple weeks, but I’ve really enjoyed these classes with you guys and Jen. It hasn’t been long enough to get as attached as with those other teachers, but it really was like a horse-kick in the chest to hear Jen’s news the other day. (Horses kick hard, don’t they? Or is that donkeys?) I don’t want her to go. I wish it could be put off a year or something. It just sucks. I’m really excited about the direction this class has been headed and I think it’s not going to be the same now. How could it be?

I mentioned on an earlier blog a bit about how I was very skeptical about the class at first. I didn’t really elaborate , but I thought the blogging concept was very sketchy and I didn’t want to do it. I really didn’t want to do it. I mean I really really was not going to fucking do it. But I already liked Jen enough (as well as a lot of you guys in this class, you’re really such a great group of people!) that I didn’t want to give up because of it. So I talked with Jen for a few minutes and I could see how committed she was to the idea. She didn’t want me to drop the class over this, and I didn’t want to drop the class. She talked me into it not by talking me into it(does that make sense?) but by being open to my bitchiness, and not shrinking from it, and not getting irritated with me for questioning her, but by kind of asking me to take the leap of faith with her and with all of you guys. How could I say no to that challenge? That’s the kind of person Jen is. She cares about everybody in her class, even if they’re hard to care about. Most teachers try to instill that impression in their students, but I don’t believe most of them. I think I believe in Jen, most of the time. Yeah, I’m still a skeptic. But if you even knew how hard it was for me to say that about anyone, you’d see how that’s a major statement from me.
I mainly want to say that I’m coming to terms with this Jen Leaving Business. I’m not happy about it. I’m happy for her, though. I can’t help being disappointed but that’s my issue. But I’m not disappointed in Jen. That’s the main difference between disappointment I’ve felt with other teachers and the disappointment I’m feeling now. There’s no way I feel Jen is failing us or abandoning us. It can’t be helped. I’m just sad to see her go because in this short time, she’s already had a positive effect on me. And I’m just greedy that way, I wanted more.
The title of this blog is the chorus to the eighties song by Yaz called “Don’t Go!” It just came into my head today. Yes, I know it’s kind of a stalking song. Don’t take it so literally.
And hey Meredith! If you’re reading this, I want you to know I’m glad you’re going to teach our class. I’m not sad at all that you’re the one taking over, just sad that Jen’s leaving. It’s a bit of a The Queen is Dead, Long Live the Queen situation. Sad and glad.thCAIYU8WQ

904 words, a few tears, and a warm smile of greeting for Meredith!

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9 thoughts on “can’t stop now don’t you know i ain’t never gonna let you go don’t go!

  1. I think I understand Dylan, while I have not have a teacher leave in the middle of teaching a class like this. I did have a Sergeant back in the Army leave for his next duty station, and I will tell you that I really missed him. He was by far one of the best I have ever had to serve under. He was one of those rare people that just by being around seemed to make things happen and could help you in ways you never even thought possible. I often wondered what might have been different about my time there if he had stayed around longer.

    While I do not see Jen in the same way you do ( her controlling attitude bugs me ). I will admit that she has a very unique way of teaching English and I was very interested in how this class would turn out. Like you I did not like the idea of having to blog each week, but knew I had to do it to pass the class. Anyway I hope that you will feel better about Jen leaving and I do not doubt that some of our classmates feel the same way you do about her leaving ( both happy for her new job but sad to see her go).

    -Stanley

    Word count 220

    • Hey Dylan, first I want to say I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had such awful luck with your favorite teachers/professors sticking around. On the other hand though, at least you did find some instructors that you were able to connect with on the way – I’ve found that always makes learning easier. I’ll also chime in and say that I was surprised and a little sad to hear that Jen wouldn’t be teaching the class anymore. Like you (and Stanley), I thought that her approach to teaching this course was really interesting, and I absolutely wanted to see how it would turn out. If nothing else, I at least was able to take away the value of freewriting, as it’s just not something that I would have thought to do.

      That said, I can also relate to having a favorite teacher from high school as well. So a brief blurb about that: Mr. Frank, my senior year pre-calc teacher. I’ve always liked math classes, but it was in his class that I developed a very significant passion for it that really drove my interests for a while. While I’m not pursuing a math degree any more, I still look back on that combination of sternness while still being approachable and kind of easy-going.

      -Will

      213

  2. Dylan, oh Dylan. You are fantastic. Love the nerd reference. I too was a bit iffy about the blog, but I was iffy about college in general. I felt so out of place with all of it. But Jen gave me hope by simply saying “you aren’t unique” and in her words I repeat them. YOU AREN’T UNIQUE! I think most of us are upset by Jen’s abandonment. (Well, that’s not the way I think of it but it is kind of how it feels.) Someone said to think of it like a break up, and in a way it is, with a bittersweet ending, and she will still be there in a sense. But, what we can do is take what she did teach us in this short time and remember it. We as humans tend to hold close the things our favorite instructor taught us, and if nothing else you will have this blog.
    I’m really not sure how many words this is, and I don’t care that much really, I just wanted to put my two cents in. Carry on, my friend.

  3. Man, Dylan… I know I really need to make my second comment for Blog #2 before midnight, but I just feel like I need to say something.

    I read the first paragraph and I immediately thought, “This is going to get real…” So I was naturally curious. Then when I found out that your topic for this post was about Jen leaving, I felt a churning because it was EXACTLY how I felt when I first heard the news.

    I thought I was going to hate this class. I thought it would be the same class I took last quarter, which ultimately ended in a necessary withdrawal to avoid a failing grade. Then I had only TWO classes with Jen and everything changed. Not just my mindset regarding the English 102 class, but also my entire perspective on being a writer. I can honestly say I have no clue how she did it, but all I can say is that she immediately became my favorite teacher of my entire education.

    If I had to guess what it is, though, I would say that it’s because she encouraged my failure. I kept feeling miserable all throughout high school and earlier this year because I would constantly fail classes and let down my parents, my teachers, and myself. Then during the second class with Jen, I remembered everything I love about being a writer and she actually encouraged us to go with the messiness and the failure that comes with writing a research paper. I had read all this before in other books – that you should just write what comes naturally and let the ideas come from there – but it was the first time a teacher told me it was okay and actually made me feel really good about what I was doing.

    I kind of explained this to Jen on Tuesday after she announced her leaving and she said something that struck me. She told me that it wasn’t just her who brought about the change in my perspective, but rather that this was a point in my life where I was READY to receive change. It resonated with me, and as much as I would love to put Jen on a pedestal and say she is responsible for everything working out for me now, I have to agree and say that it was mostly my doing. I was on the precipice and it was ultimately my decision to jump, but her words of encouragement and subtle nudgings were a great deal of help to finally do it.

    I would have cried that day, because I felt very strongly about it and I wanted to get through this messy process with her by my side. I felt it was incredibly unfair that I was finally on the right track, and then she just up and leaves. I wanted to scream, “I have so much more to learn from you!!”

    I couldn’t do it, though. Life is unfair sometimes and we just have to ride it out. Sure, my encounter with Jen was serendipitous and I am incredibly grateful for what she’s done, but I obviously can’t cling to her. I may have felt that I still have much more to learn from her, but I think now that I also have a lot to learn from myself.

    Jen, if you’re reading this, I want to say thank you. Sincerely. I know it’s only been two weeks and four class periods with you and it doesn’t seem like you really did a whole lot, but it has definitely made a difference in my life. Again, I can’t explain it, but something just clicked in your class. I realize I was at a time in my life where this was meant to happen, but don’t neglect to give yourself credit. There’s obviously a reason you were chosen to be the deputy supervisor of the faculty board of chairmen or… I forget what it was, but you have a talent and I appreciate it. I want to make you proud, so I’m sticking with this class to its very end. Again, thank you.

    That’s what I have to say.

  4. What The?? I have missed class this week do to a family emergency sooo.. What the ? Jen’s leaving ..? I am feeling a violent rage coming on!! I had Jen for 101 and followed her to 102 for a reason!! She is Amazing and awesome and i know that she can be hard at times but that is exactly the kind of teacher i myself need desperately! I cant even tell you how upset this makes me!! The fact that Jen took notice that something was “amiss” with you and asked you about speaks volumes of her character. I don’t even know what to say really.! I hated the idea of having to Blog every week when i first started Jens class, but i can say with absolute sincerity, that it became something i enjoyed and looked forward to, hopefully it will do the same for you.

    I (of course) now will have to do some investigating of my own to see what exactly happened while I was away! So thank you for your very informative, wonderfully written Blog! I am glad to see a fellow Jen supporter out there, lord knows she deserves it!
    Have a super sparkly evening all!

    Christine
    WC 202

  5. Wow Dylan, 5 comments, you’re a bit of a celebrity on here 😉 I can’t say it’s not justified. I really enjoyed reading your post. I couldn’t agree more with your feelings about Jen leaving. Even if I’m not her favorite student, She’s definitely my favorite teacher. I’ve only had one bad experience with an instructor here at Clark. Given my past experiences with awful teachers, I recognized her baloney right away and was smart enough to jump ship right away. Had i not, I would have definitely lost my already unstable interest in publicly sharing my writing, and would not have met Jen.

    Anyway, it’s a bummer your favorite teachers have always “left you” to move onto greater opportunities. There’s great potential in there for a satirical comedy short or country music video haha 🙂 I don’t feel like it’s too soon to get attached. When there’s chemistry it’s indisputable, and Jen has really shown an amazing ability to reach out to all of us on some level. I can’t believe there’s anyone who doesn’t like her. It says more about them than her. She holds us all accountable, but extends this genuine care for all of our careers as students and people. I think she’s mastered what it means to be Human, and has applied it to her career and her relationships. See you in class 🙂

    • I’m so afraid we’re all going to get emotional tomorrow and start bawling like a bunch of hobbits! Well, if it happens, it happens. We’ll be strong for Jen, it’s hard for her, too. I want to thank everyone for the great comments. I’d reply to everyone on this page, but I don’t want to clutter up the comments with my wordy replies. I read everyone’s blog, too, and I like them all. All of us “Jen’s kids” are a pretty good group!

  6. Hey Dylan so everyone’s getting all sappy on your comments page here, I’ll continue of course but something else here is waaaay more hilarious. So if that picture of Frotto and that terrible-creepy smile is your going to be ” a warm smile of greeting for Meredith.” I think we all might be teacher-less. LMAO. What a creepy smile. Good eye.

    Alright on to my new favorite teacher leaving us. Yeah it sucks but, Jenn is supposed to be affecting more lives than just ours. It was very apparent from day 1 that Jenn has a passion for education. Teachers with her type of passion and charisma making learning even more fun. By the sounds of it she’s going to be managing faculty state-wide. Great opportunity to affect more lives. Things im learning so far are sticking Its because of how its being delivered. And it’s not just english stuff, it’s life stuff. I’m appreciative. Moving on…. Meredith also knows what’s she’s doing; these degrees aren’t just being handed out like they’re Safeway coupons or something. Someone might disagree on how an instructor does things but, ultimately we all need to see who’s holding a degree at the end of the day.

    Can anyone tell Im damn good salesman with all this expert ass kissing?

    Good post.

    214 words 7/31.

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