After Thanksgiving Break, I am back in Shreveport, at a home that in three short weeks will no longer be mine; stumbling through an assignment that’s due tomorrow for a class that in three short weeks will be over; thinking about 35-year-old Charles Marcus McCauley, who is ten short days physically gone, who was surely much longer mentally gone, who was killed on the campus of what will in three short weeks be my alma mater.

St. James Day School caters to students through the sixth grade. The night after my sixth-grade graduation, I lay in bed and cried: I knew that something great was over. (I am not good at great endings.)

Now I know that there was no great ending—that it was instead an illusion, a hiatus; that a short eight-and-a-half years later, I would be back, though as a teacher (a student by another name).

Having somehow known this, I still would’ve cried: transitions demand to be acknowledged appropriately.

In three short weeks, my life as a Centenary student will be over. I am both elated and devastated by this reality. I am reminded, though, that nothing is over until everything is over—and even that is up for discussion.

I won’t deny myself appropriate acknowledgement of this transition—words, maybe tears—but I will not mourn for anything but Mr. McCauley, whose life I watched end from a desk at which I was for the last time slaving away over a term paper.



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