Those who taught ME in my 1st semester as a professor

We spent every Tuesday together, from the wee hours, up to our ears in bodily fluids and call lights and buckets of 0800 meds. Oftentimes I felt less like their guide into the world of clinical nursing practice, and more like a visitor on a unique and ethereal journey of 8 souls finding wings. Beyond the confines of the procedures and the protocols, I witnessed everyday miracles as they learned to love people at their most unlovable moments, to reach deep within themselves and toss away pride to get down on their knees next to someone's bed to offer a moment of comfort in a time of deepest sadness, to cry with someone who is crying, to laugh with someone who is laughing, to find a way to form words with someone who cannot speak.

They all have vastly different personalities...the class clown, the workaholic, the information geek, the helper, the girl with her ear always tuned for the code calls, the quiet one, the advocate, the one with a heart for kids. In 10 short weeks, I had the blessing of looking deeper into their lives, their passions, their hopes and their dreams. But it wasn't they who emerged changed and was me. It is the great gift of teaching, that you embark forever on lifelong learning, a journey of constant discovery, a million "I don't know the answer" moments when you hunt for information right along with your students. A chance to stay abreast of every technical advancement, every scientific discovery, and every new way to bring comfort to the bedsides of hurting people, who we will always have with us.

It's been an amazing semester. One I am sorry to say goodbye to (although winter break is luring me in!). I can't wait to dress up in my regalia for the graduation ceremony in May 2014 when these eight girls walk across the stage and join me as peers in our grand profession that is half art and half science, the perfect union of left-brain, right-brain...and watch them as they reach for the stars in the many years to come.

Thank you, section 314, for taking me along on your incredible journey this semester!