It's 9:11 on a Friday night, and I'm sitting in bed catching up on blogs before drifting off to sleep in a bit.
I know. MY LIFE, IT IS A PARTY.
Seriously, I'm pretty happy to be where I am. This week has felt twice as long as it actually was due to a jam-packed schedule. MTL's been raising his eyebrows every time I whip out my agenda. There isn't much white space left. My scribbles have scribbles. I'm exhausted.
The end of the year, work-wise, is always jam-packed. This one, more so than many. I had the normal tasks such as writing, administering, and grading exams; finalizing grades; packing up the room; changing my voice mail; cleaning out both virtual and physical mailboxes; filing all the crazy paperwork that materializes in June; and checking out for the summer. Then there were the usual functions: graduation, the end-of-year staff picnic, the end-of-year English Department party.
It was the goodbyes that got to me this year. I didn't fully realize until a few weeks before the end of the year just how many seniors I had connected with over the last few years. At graduation, the staff members create a little honor guard as the students exit the arena. This year, I had students piling up waiting for their turn to high-five, fist-bump, and/or hug me.
I even told two of My Boys that just ONCE, just for that moment, I was their Boi.
Brandon may have fist-pumped the air. I know he was telling everyone in range that I'd finally said it.
I said goodbye and good luck to a lot of special kids this year. I know my Facebook Friend count went way up that day. And if I wanted to, I could skip buying groceries on weekends for the next couple of months and just live off graduation party food.
This job comes with those farewells every year. I've gotten more used to them. The harder ones are when coworkers, friends with whom I interact and collaborate daily and monthly and yearly, say goodbye too.
Three of my closest coworker friends were on the bottom of the district seniority list. They all were laid off on Tuesday. I don't think it's sunk in for me yet: next year they will not be there. I lost my mentee C., and losing him is losing a friend, a wonderful collaborator, and a little brother all at once.
Okay, writing that made it a little more real. THIS SUCKS.
Then on Wednesday I went to a small retirement party for the first real friend I ever made at my school. He was a father figure, the first one to really get to know me, the person who told other coworkers I was worth getting to know. Every time I saw him, he had a hug and a smile and an encouraging word to give.
Dammit. I'm getting teary now.
Since then? I've been diving into sorting and purging and packing all the crap that piled up in the house over six years, because I'll be moving at the end of July.
I'll write more about that later. It is now 9:33 and I'm ready for bed.
What's awesome? I get to sleep in. For REAL.
3 years ago