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Year end 2008 (3) Final Day

July 4, 2008 pm31 9:35 pm

It’s a week late, but there needs to be one last post to wrap up the school side of the school year.

Thursday June 26 was the last day of school in New York City. Even though it was a non-attendance day in high schools, our school had a barbecue and had the kids in. Report cards, summer school notices, student government elections, awards. It gave us an extra day to correct grades; it meant that most regents scores were on the report cards (even though regents only ended the day before). Plus, food.

We do some version of this every year. Last year all the old seniors showed up once more, delaying the day that the class of 2008 could be called seniors. At the end of the day, after they left, I missed them. I went for a walk. It was brutally hot, and through the heat the semi-stifled smells of linden blooms and mulberries, both ripe and mashed on the ground, seeped through.

This year it rained mid-morning, through most of the barbecue. The lindens were stronger, much stronger. Cloying, suffocating, too sweet, and unpleasant. And most seniors (class of 2008 ) didn’t show up. I wasn’t upset as I didn’t feel attached to them anyhow…

(more, and one final story, beneath the fold –> )

I helped reread Integrated Algebra regents in the morning (the scale arrived that morning, but we couldn’t do much) and then caught the tail end of the elections. Then food, I directed the lines for food, ate, and said some goodbyes on the way back into the building. I busied myself with programming, and chatting with kids who had questions about grades and Regents, and next year.

And while only a few kids were left, maybe already 2 or 3 o’clock, a few kids from last year’s class showed up, including Three of my favorites. They took algebra with me as freshmen, and then combinatorics and logic last year as seniors, and two worked in my office, and all came to the service aide’s play with me last Spring. I was delighted, but busy, so made them promise to wait for me and not run out, and they did promise, which was easy because visiting me was one of the main reasons for their visit.

I ran around, trying to complete last minute reports and ask questions of teachers I won’t see again until August 28. I noticed the Three chatting with a few teachers and a few of this year’s seniors.

And then I was done, and invited them to my office, and they asked about this year, but mostly I sat back while they told stories about their first year away at college. Delightful.

And then a current senior came in. A little pushy, she started asking them questions about college. Look, I wasn’t wild about her showing up, but it made sense that she would pick their brains – she is going away in two months. So I sat back and listened. She went on. It was her classroom, and she ran the discussion. I did a little work on my computer. I chatted very quietly with the one of the Three who was sitting closest. I was bored. She wasn’t stopping. Now it wasn’t questions, but she was boasting about her school. I got up to use the bathroom.

I came back, she was still going strong. I think the Three were bored as well. About 45 minutes had passed. I wanted to say something, but… She spoke to me. What? She wanted me to bring up her college’s home page so she could show the Three something about her dorm or her schedule or – I really don’t know.

“X, I am very glad you had a chance to catch up with these guys. But I’ve been waiting months to see them, so I have to ask you to excuse us now.”

“Are you telling me to leave?”

With a smile: “Yes.”

The Three looked very uncomfortable for a moment, but later told me that she would have never left. Sort of mean, huh?

[end school year 2007-08]

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2008 am31 10:29 am 10:29 am

    It sounds like you were gentle and clear and perfect. Excellent work.

  2. Kate permalink
    July 5, 2008 pm31 5:15 pm 5:15 pm

    Nah, it’s just that sometimes being the grown up feels mean. You did great.

  3. July 6, 2008 pm31 5:47 pm 5:47 pm

    No. I could have been that girl once. I didn’t know how to read social cues or how long was appropriate to stick around and chat, and I’m grateful to people who were direct enough and kind enough to clue me in.

  4. July 6, 2008 pm31 8:05 pm 8:05 pm

    Maybe I told the story. It felt a little mean. Or maybe it was just uncomfortable to do. In either case, thanks for your comments.

    Two old commenters, and one new… I guess that’s the full range.


  1. Portrait of a class in its last days « JD2718

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