This is a re-post. I wrote it after my first year of teaching, and six years later it still rings true. The end of the year is rough. There is a flurry of activity and then total stillness. The feeling is intensified this year--my son is graduating from high school. The excitement about achieving milestones is amplified, so is the worry and regret... Did I do enough? Did I do it right?...
I'm taking my very last Master's class and the Professor mentioned that she says a prayer after the class is over...something along the lines of "Lord, make it right." Amen and Alleluia.
Originally posted June 11, 2010:
The students are gone, the desks sit empty and textbooks are stacked like 3D bar graphs around the room. After a flurry of noise and activity the hallways are still and quiet. Locker doors lay open in neat rows, standing sentinel as if patiently awaiting the arrival of owners who won't be back.
It's a weird feeling, a mixture of mismatched emotions. Enormous amounts of relief, excitement and accomplishment are paired uncomfortably with twinges of disappointment, regret and remorse. Somehow something about it all feels... undone... like a painting that's been packaged up and shipped off before it was completed. I feel a nagging desire to snatch the school year back for a few last minute modifications. Yet if the students were to march back in one more time I think I'd collapse in a puddle on the blue and white checkered linoleum, I simply couldn't stand another minute!
It's My First Year, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I suspect it feels this way every year. Remember that feeling when your wedding was over? After an insane amount of planning, work, worry and anticipation the music simply stopped, the guests were gone and you found yourself standing at the threshold of endings and beginnings wondering:
What just happened?...
Blessed and bewildered
Me and my baby at his graduation party: