A whole new Journey

and all the rest.
Joyful faces under square hats,
that sit jauntily upon the heads of mere babes.
So assured,
that the world is their oyster~
they are ready to take on the world.
But, their parents know
that behind their cocky smiles
and false bravado~
these are the little boys and girls
once held on tightly to their hands
the first day of kindergarten,
so long ago.

At exactly 2:00pm yesterday, my summer vacation began with the graduating of the 2013 senior class. In September, this day seemed to be years away. In between there would be quizzes, plays, and papers to grade. There would be students to get to know, knowledge to share, and challenges to overcome. Yet today after a full year of school saying goodbye for the summer is bittersweet.

The teens were exuberant. Thursday, they bounce from friend to friend giving hugs and smiles as they sit for their last lunch and make plans for Friday. I sometimes wish someone would hold a finish line in the parking lot for all of them and us to run through and celebrate another year’s conclusion. Some students will receive awards for their tremendous work this year and we will all be so proud of their commitment to excellence. And yet, while in the throes of celebrating this momentous end, I am also sad to watch it.

end_of_school_year_bag_tag_template_06-gifNever again will this particular group of students, with this particular energy, and connection meet as a collective in the way we have met everyday since September. Of course, they will come to say hi but my collective classes will disperse and become members of other classes. By September, they will be taller and older (and hopefully wiser). Don’t get me wrong, I very much look forward to my summer vacation too, but saying goodbye to my students is so hard. I truly enjoy each and every one of them, even the ones that can be a little challenging from time to time are so important to me. As I wrap up my third year of teaching, I have learned so much from my students.   Today was the first day I haven’t gone to school, today I start summer vacation officially, today I will say goodbye to these students, to this year, and to this place…..until August.

Graduation is a time to rejoice – Our graduation day is considered to be one of the most important milestones in life.  While many get nostalgic about this day, one’s graduation day is a stepping-stone toward discovering new challenges, new and exciting experiences – it is the beginning of a completely new phase of life.  So to my seniors, look back fondly on HHS and the Theatre Dept, but step out and have fun looking forward instead of back.

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