An Emotional Farewell-

One year ago.

I entered a room full of strangers with a passion to write and social anxiety higher than I’d ever like to exhibit. It was my first college class related to my newly changed major, a step in what I would imagine to be the right direction.

I sat down.

I didn’t know that in the same row, Tommy and Mark would become one half of the quad.

I didn’t know that the quiet, unapologetically polite guy from Wilkes-Barre would become one of my good friends. With an attendance better than the teacher’s, I knew this kid would go far.

I didn’t know the slightly rude, unfiltered asshole from Harding would become someone I could learn to trust and even joke around with. Even on my worst days.

In the second (and laughably, last) row, sat everyone else.

I didn’t know that the quiet girl from Avoca would undoubtedly become one of my best friends, even after she continued on to Wilkes University. Even through all of my worst decisions, she’s still there. I’m there for her too.

I didn’t know that the crazy liberal sitting in the same row would steal a bit of my heart too. Not until later on, but inevitably in happened. The next-future-president sat in that row, and I’m sure glad she did. New or old, friends are all the same.

Later on, when spring began to thaw out winter’s damage, things became even better.

I didn’t know.

I didn’t know Miryan would become a part of my world, but she showed up and never looked back. I respected everyone in that class– they all deserve the world. But Miryan… she deserves the world and then some. I didn’t know she would change my life, even just a little.

I didn’t know Mariel would show up to class and make me laugh every single day. I didn’t know that this girl from my online class would actually mean something to me, of course. But Mariel and her life, her thoughts, and her sass have brought me such bliss.

I didn’t know Caleb’s creativity and lack of knowing what’s next would alter how I view things in my own life, the carefree attitude is so much of what I have been yearning for.

I didn’t know Tarrah’s gentleness and generosity would hold us together, always at the times we needed it the most.

And Paul- I wish I could say I didn’t know Paul’s wittiness would make me roll my eyes ten fold– but we all knew that.

As the semester ends and some of us move on to bigger and better things, I want you to know that you’ve changed my life in more ways than one. A small conversation, a smile, a donut; whatever it may have been, changed my world.

I grew out of my shell at Luzerne into someone I wasn’t even sure could exist, let alone roam free. Each and every individual in this class intertwined together so finely, it’s almost impossible to explain. There will never again be a class as beautiful as this one.

I never want there to be.

With that being said, there will never be another professor that will warm us, inspire us, teach us, or leave us with such a lasting imprint on both our hearts and minds.

Ed Ackerman.

A professor, a friend, but more importantly– our donut dealer.

Good luck to you all.

Much love,

Leah

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