One more year down, another 21 to go before I can retire... Oh the inhumanity!
I've packed all my boxes to be shipped to the temporary building that will be housing our school next year. I've labeled everything, purged my files, and pruned my possessions. It's crazy just how much stuff
one accumulates in this profession. I have a huge
packing box full of examples of Student Work. Throwing that stuff out, even to make room for more recent examples, is somehow painful - as though I'm throwing away memories of some of my more cherished students. Rationally, I know that these students will live on in my memory - they're too dear to forget - but it's hard to rid myself of the reminders. So I'll give you a few:
From my first year teaching Middle School, Cate and Laura were wonderful. Both of them were sci-fi junkies like me, and we could - and DID - spend afternoons discussing the various Trek series and their reflections on our current society. Both of these ladies are, I'm sure, on to bigger and better things. Last I heard, Cate was at Smith and Laura was probably headed to MIT.
From my second year, Jill T. was a sweetie who always wished me "Happy Friday's Eve" every Thursday. John was a WILD MAN, who was into Panterra and Rob Zombie, but had the softest marshmallow heart of anyone I've ever taught. Then there's Ben, the violin virtuoso who lives more in his head than his body. He's off to Austria this summer to study at the Mozarteum. His mother teaches math and is one of my favorite people.
From my third year, there's Sanaz. I have a couple of pictures that she drew me that I still put up in my room. She was a doll in class - 100 percent average, eager to answer any question but not obnoxious about it. This year, she was class valedictorian. Petit Robert was another treat - I had his older brother in my first year, and would have his younger sister in my last year at that school.
From my fourth year, there's Andrew, Sam, & Phil. Sam was not actually my student - he chose Spanish - but he hung out in my homeroom every morning until the bell rang and taught me some Japanese ('cause his real name is actually Osamu and his parents are Japanese). Andrew & Phil were a riot. Andrew had the best sense of humor and Phil loved fishing and Neil Young. I can't stand Neil Young, so we had fun gently razzing each other. Then there's Vivi les Cheveux (not her real name) with the wildest hair I've yet to see and a personality to match. She and Andrew bickered just like an old married couple.
From my fifth year, Mariel stands out. That girl worked hard and played hard - what a fantastic skier. Most of this year was a blur, though, as I'd come back from maternity leave in December.
My last year at that school was bittersweet - I had quite a crew. JJ was, perhaps, the most gorgeous 14-year old I've ever seen. I'd like to see him again in 15 years to see how he turns out. Taylor, who actually reads this and posts here, was probably the prickliest student I've ever had - but who got my sense of humor ("Ok everybody, stand up if you've ever done something inappropriate with a monkey."). Only Taylor would know who says stuff like that.
My first year at my current school was a bit of a nightmare, with some nightmarish students in 8th grade. I'll always remember Dante, though, for falling in love with my toddler and declaring that he's my "baby daddy." Molly "I'm a pir-an-hah" and Jade "Hazel" were always good for a laugh. And, lastly, Alex - who the hell are the Dropkick Murphys?!! - my own Mr. Cool. Oh, and I can't forget Joe (even with years of therapy), who could name 10 porn stars in 5 seconds, and Wayne, the world's biggest perv.
This year, I know I'll remember Lauren - the BEST STUDENT EVER; Emilie, the former future Mrs. Orlando Bloom; Martin, aka Uncle Chile; Nic & Gabi - Georgia Nicolson fans for life; Amber - Miss Grace & Dignity, an example for young women everywhere; Jenny - who needs to travel back a century and live with Louisa May Alcott (I swear, she could have stepped off the pages of Little Women;
The great Megan Triumvirate (3 in one class!!), but especially Mini-Megan with the Maxi Brain; Eddie, the honorary Megan; and lastly, Kasia of the long hair and Mine.
Now I can throw stuff away with a clear conscience.