Goodbyes in a college town

This afternoon I have to say goodbye to a friend. He’s going on to his new life after graduation, to Chile to help run the family business. He’s from China, and that was one of the topics we talked about, in our wider discussions on world politics and social customs. 

I learned a lot about China from him, which I could relay to my husband, who is half Chinese and completely ignorant of his mother’s culture due to her insistence that they bring him and his siblings up “American”.  He had to put up with my abrupt American manner, my tendency to use too much eye contact, and my occasional tendency to swear.

Living in a college town, you learn to say goodbye a lot. Students (mine and others) graduate and dispel to their new lives. Faculty take new positions, gravitating toward bigger opportunities at bigger colleges. Occasionally, faculty die. In a small college town, however, people may be transient but they’re not anonymous.

So I say goodbye again. It’s okay; it’s the natural order of things. 

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