Norwich's MMH Residency has since come and gone, and I have to say that it was one of the best weeks that I've had in a long while. This week was particularly special to me, because I had started as an administrator with the groups that were graduating this summer, while I walked with them for graduation. I and my March 2007 cohort mates were the accelerated residency group, who essentially graduate early, while still working on our final capstone projects.
The first three days were largely consumed by lectures from the six instructors that attended along with us. This was a change from last year, because we devided to forgo the presentations that used to make up residency in years past. I went to a couple facinating ones about maneuver warfare doctrine, methodology and a rather scary presentation on PhD studies and that entire process.
Seeing and meeting all of my students have really given me some insight into the student side of things. So frequently do I speak with students on the telephone or via e-mail, but rarely (only one of the students who was here was one that I'd met earlier) in person. This provided a fantastic look at how they react to the institution as a whole, while giving me a much better apreciation for what they go through. It wasn't a huge revelation, but a timely and helpful one.
For much of the week, I met up with my cohort mates for dinner and for recreation afterwards. Someone had the brilliant idea to bring along my copy of RISK, which resulted in a couple of really fun nights of beer and board games. While that was fun, it was a great time that I'll remember for a while, and it helped me meet a bunch of people who I'll likely keep in touch with for a long time. I certainly hope so, because there were some very good minds there, and I hope that we can accomplish something in the world with that.
Graduating was weird, because I've worked with this class since I started, and still have more work to do. When I went up on stage, I got a big cheer from my classmates, something that I wasn't expecting at all, and it threw me for a moment. For all of my worries, problems and depression over the past year, I seem to have been doing a good job, and that has cheered me considerably - while I see the mistakes and problems on my end administratively, I've been praised for the work that I do. I realized at that moment that I've been far too hard on myself. It's doubtful that anything is going to change, but it's nice to know that my work has really affected and helped people in this job. I just hope that I can continue to do so.
Leaving everyone was bittersweet. The week went by far too fast, and in my experience with groups, you will never get the same groups together at any one time like this. Real life takes people away, and moments such as this are singular occurances, which makes them all the more better.