pete rorabaugh

father | atlantan | cyclist | educator | scholar | union member

One farewell, a decade in the making

I sent the following email to the faculty, staff, and GTAs in my department this afternoon. It just felt too strange to leave ten years of work behind without some amount of public reflection.

After ten years of being a grad student, a GTA, a staff member, and a faculty member, this week is my final week of work in the English Department at GSU. In the fall I will begin my first job on the tenure track at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta. I want to mark this time myself by saying goodbye and thank you to you, my colleagues.

My professional identity, confidence, and pedagogy were, in large part, constructed in this department. I appreciate the inspiration and encouragement that I’ve received from you — too many of you to name here — over the years. Whether in the form of an obscure source idea, a brilliant pedagogical invention, or a willing ear over coffee, I want to say thank you.

I’ve taught 44 course sections and roughly 900 students in ten years. Who knows how many hundreds of pages and screens of text I’ve composed, edited, published, and graded. I feel that my work here has had purpose, and I am thankful to have worked with many colleagues and students who are bright, progressive, creative, critical human beings.

I regret that I’m not able to say goodbye to the department in a more official way, but such are the awkward situations that currently accompany contingency in our profession. Whether you’re a grad student or a faculty/staff member, I wish the best for your work and look forward to collaborating with some of you in the future.

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