Dear ADA University,
I am writing to say good-bye, and apologize that I have not done that earlier. I was busy with settling into my new life in The Netherlands, but then you’d say, we are all busy. But better late than never.
It was great to get to know you. In the past two and a half years, or 5 semesters, as this was the major time-mark, we spent a lot of time together, laughed and played, had some serious conversations and even some fights. But it was always the feeling and knowledge that we like each other, and that deep down, we are good friends.
Of course some moments stand out more than others, and I will remember these for a long time, if not forever. I will remember my fist class of Geography to BA 2016 in 2014 when I had a group of very bright students sitting in the class and trying to figure me out as I was trying to figure them out. I know that I was a harsh grader, but hey, you now know much more about climate change, solar energy, wastewater treatment, transport and environmental issues than anyone else of your age in the country! I know that may not compensate for that A- or B in your record, but one thing is for sure — I made you try harder, and that is already a success.
Will never forget Nurlan raising his hand and uttering the surprising words “science is a new religion”, Sheyla correcting my pronunciation of her name, or Aydan and Zulala getting into an argument over the Azeri/Russian sector divide in our education and society. I am also so happy that we made that trip to Hovsan, I have many pictures by the way, will share them on Facebook soon. There were also some bitter-sweet moments, such as when one student asking me for a higher grade based on the fact that she wrote “at least something” to answer the exam question, which was, of course, on a totally different topic. I managed to console the student with dark chocolate, since then I always kept dark chocolate in my room. There were more moments which we had to have with you, ADA, to get to know each other, but which now do not matter.
I had great colleagues at ADA. Javid m, you were my coffee buddy, Zaur m. — you were my book discussion buddy. With Vener m. and Sadiqa kh. I could discuss anything. And with Kavus, Azer, Rashad mm. I could always exchange greetings and the latest news and some gossip. I think it is remarkable to have a Dean who always responded to emails and calls, and this was wind in the back, Elnur m. And Anar m. was always a passing smile on the run which often made me think of how the unbearable lightness of being may be personified.
I cannot name all people I met and got to know and like at ADA. But many good friends and great memories from classes, walks, weddings, outings, graduation ceremonies and corridor discussions. I will miss teaching at ADA University and my colleagues. I will miss the cleaning staff who took care of my plants and my room. But I already miss teaching, and the really really good students at ADA. I am proud that we have such bright youth, and I am happy that I had a chance to give back a little bit to the project of cultivating a new generation of youth that may be different. May be different, whether it will be different, depends on them.
We will be in touch!