So, Wednesday was graduation. My last, I guess, until the grandkids start graduating. It was bittersweet, in some ways, to be stepping out of this stream. Year-after-year, we worked hard, and watched the incoming ninth-graders, as they'd learn and grow, and grow up. Seeing them again at graduation, having had their four-year-makeover from us, was always poignant. But we send them out--out of the nest we created to nurture them—off to college or wherever they have chosen as their first stop on the journey. Truly, I am sad to be leaving it all.
Our friend Steve, the colleague who created the video tribute slideshow of the students to celebrate them during this send off, added a slide at the end of the show, with a photo of my pal, Marcia Price and myself. It had a banner underneath that said Happy Retirement! The kids all gave us a round of applause! It was a very sweet moment. I
The school decided to turn Thursday into a mini-retreat day, to plan for the following school year (bring your yoga pants!) At that point, I couldn’t think of anything I needed less than a yoga lesson with my colleagues. My plans for the coming academic year were well settled. And my lists at this point were still scarily huge, for someone who was driving away from her former life on Saturday morning. I emailed in that I was sick, and took one more day off. I never intended to take so much time off this year, but had to, with so much of my life needing attention, and a dozen doctors to see—getting all my systems tuned up and checked out, as well as doing the same for the rig before setting off.
About 9:40, I got a call from Shron, our secretary, asking if I was coming in to work at all. I said that I was not. Had too much to do in Long Beach, trying to get ready. Fifteen minutes later, I got a text from Mrs. Edmonds, the A.P. asking the same thing, Nope, I replied. I was out on Long Island without a car, and with way too much to accomplish that day. She texted back that it was too bad, because they were having a retirement celebration in the library at 11:45.
I missed that one, but went in the next day, to give out report cards to my students. My friends Kenny and Maritza bought me these gorgeous roses, and gave me a card with a gift card inside. My pal and co-retiree, Marcia Price had bought me a button I really could have used last year.
After seeing the students off, the faculty gathered in a classroom next to the library, and Kevin said some kind words of farewell, and then they presented me with a card, and a beautiful custom embroidered throw, that said, "Thank you for your years of dedicated service to PEHS." This really stunned me. It was such a lovely gift. A really nice ending to a twelve year career at that school. Thanks Park East!