Moving On

It's been a busy week. For one thing, we've started the hauling. Many of our books and a variety of our other belongings have already made their way to our new house, and today I'm going to load up a few more items (the bicycles, primarily) to clear access to the closets here We have lots of boxes and lots of bins, but the thing we are (thankfully) supplied with in some degree of plenty is time; the movers don't get here for another week. By the 16th, I'm hoping that everything we don't use daily will already be packed up and out of the apartment. 

We've already done the first load of laundry at the new place--hey, we're already paying for the water and power there, so why throw quarters at the current joint's laundromat?--and we've taken Ripley over to get acclimated to her new yard. I'd have to describe her response as enthusiastic. Since we rarely have her off the leash outside, we weren't entirely prepared to see her running around full-tilt for a good ten minutes. She even chased a stick I'd thrown, something we've never seen her do. She immediately seized it, ran to the opposite end of the yard with it, dropped it as she was reversing course, and sprinted back past me without a care.

The other big thing, however, is that I wrapped up my final year at Seven Hills. I've cleaned out my classroom and the teacher work room, so it's now basically a matter of me going in next week and turning in my keys and my Chromebook. For some reason the head of school didn't want to discuss my departure openly, which I can't say I agree with or understand, but I dutifully followed his request not to talk about it right until the last faculty meeting. When the head turned the meeting from our opening salutes to the more mundane matters of summer planning, he still hadn't officially said that we wouldn't all be there, and that was just too much for me. I gently interrupted and told the rest of the faculty how much I'd appreciated their collegiality and their work on behalf of our students, then stood up and headed out to the parking lot.

As I walked out, I saw my friend Adrienne, another of the teachers who won't be back next year. She had decided not to attend the meeting, instead opting to send a card to each member of the faculty, and had spent the afternoon cleaning out her own room. I stopped her on the soccer field to say goodbye, and we hugged and agreed we'd continue to be friends even after we stop being colleagues. And then I got in my car and drove home. Summer vacation has never felt like less of a celebration.

I do have a confession, though. I wasn't entirely quiet about the fact that I wasn't coming back. I had already decided that I wasn't going to lie to the students, but as long as nobody asked me, I was free to keep my mouth shut. That changed on the last day, when Arthur stopped on his way out the door to shake my hands. Arthur is a seventh-grader and a brilliant kid, though his status as a ringleader can make him something of force for chaos in the classroom, and he had been particularly enthusiastic about one of the games I introduced to the 7HS Game Club: Steve Jackson's hilarious game of world conspiracy, Illuminati. I therefore should have realized that if any student were to put together the clues that I was not returning, it would be Arthur.

"Are you gonna be back next year, Cashie?" he asked. Affectionate diminutives are the norm at 7HS, with art teacher Tom O'Keefe being called "Keefie" and even the Upper Program Head, Tim Franzak, known almost universally among the students as "Frannie."

"I'm afraid I will not," I replied evenly. He was the first student I'd told.

"Awwww," he said, and wrapped me in a bear hug. Then he was out the door and off into summer, and I was left standing there realizing that I probably won't be called "Cashie" in the future. I've never liked it, but somehow I may actually miss it.

And in truth, Arthur wasn't the first student I told. As the oldest teacher at Seven Hills by more than a decade, I often took it on myself to share with the students elements of our popular culture from before they were born. During break on our last school day, I opted to do indirectly, rather than by lecturing, and spent a few minutes with a piece of chalk imitating the example of one of my favorite television characters, BJ Hunnicutt of M*A*S*H. If I couldn't tell my students goodbye directly, I figured the least I could do was leave them a note.

Goodbye crop.jpg

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Moving On.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on June 9, 2018 12:10 PM.

Through was the previous entry in this blog.

The New Digs is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.0