Ate that, what’s next?

shermanThe seam between the school year and summer is, once again, a jagged and lumpy one!  This week saw the last exams, the last class meetings, the last all-school assembly.  Today is the middle school graduation–which means we should stay off campus until the afternoon, unless we’re attending it–and tomorrow is the one for the high school.  Then, next week, meetings and tidying up the loose ends of the year and continuing plans for next year.

Back in November, I wrote that my feelings were a bit hurt by reading a Facebook comment by a senior boy: “nothing I do at Starfleet Academy matters anymore, I’m hardly learning anything (except in physics), and grades in particular don’t even matter now.”  What I probably should have added is that he had been one of the most engaged students I have ever met, a kid who took a very challenging program all through high school, played basketball, ran a wargaming society, and continued to read voraciously and take MOOCs just for fun. (He reads a lot of popular nonfiction; I remember a long discussion with him freshman year about Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother–he’s Asian American–and more recently about the virtues and flaws of Malcolm Gladwell.)  And from my end-of-year perspective, I think that he was reacting to the sense that one milestone–filing all the college applications–had been reached, and he wasn’t sure what that was going to mean to him: an is that all there is? moment Anyway, he absolutely didn’t check out; he stayed engaged with everything, he wrote a dynamite senior paper in English that we’re nominating for a national award, and he just ran his valedictorian speech for me and it almost made me cry, he was so sincere and thoughtful and funny and deeply affectionate toward the school and his classmates.  I’ll remember his Facebook comment, though, because it seems to be a true representation of what even the most terrific senior might be feeling along about mid-November.  (And I will continue to try to avoid seeing Facebook comments by current students.)

So anyway, today.  It’s an odd feeling, after so many weeks of powering through teaching and grading and administrative stuff and hiring and planning for next year, to suddenly…stop.  Today is an odd pause.  I wouldn’t go in to campus at all, except I think I have to later because I left my rental regalia in its plastic packaging in a file cabinet drawer, on top of this year’s final exams, and I should make at least the usual token attempt at ironing it before graduation tomorrow.

I’m picking up the Snork Maiden and then having lunch with FLS, which I’m looking forward to so much!  (Among my summer plans are plans to socialize more, at least in the low-key and uncrowded ways I most prefer.  More about those, I’m sure, fairly soon.)


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