School is out.
And while I'm sure that I'll have years in my life, or parts of years in my life, that will feel tougher, I'm glad to see this one close itself out.
An extra class.
National Board madness.
Adopting our second child.
Somehow coming down with mono.
Only having a week off at Christmas.
Clearly, I wouldn't trade parts of that (at least the second child part of it) for anything else in the world, but, still...
Isn't mono something you get when you're 16?
In any case, one of the great things about teaching seniors is that you get to see them graduate in the same year that you teach them. So, while you miss out on the potentially amazing changes that can take place between freshman and senior years, when you might see a student realize that he can be a writer, decide to be a writer, and then become a writer, you get the ultra-compressed version of high school that a single senior year offers. And a week ago, I watched this year's students receive their diplomas, bound for whatever college, the military, or work brings them, and sifted through the incredible number of memories, stories, and moments of joy, frustration, laughter, and insight, that they gave me over the course of nine months.
I'm not going to detail them here -- at least not now -- but I will say thanks, as I would extend thanks to that group of every year's students that insist on teaching me, inspiring me, reaching me, and making me laugh, grit my teeth, question, and pound my head against the desk in wonder, frustration, or disbelief.
Thanks for reading at least some of Moby-Dick with me. Thanks for talking about Cormac McCarthy with me. Thanks for not falling asleep everyday. Thanks for only plagiarizing stupid shit from Sparknotes in September. Thanks for being willing to articulate what you believe and why you believe it. Thanks for taking an occasionally-honest look at Breathless. Thanks for giving Malick a few minutes of your time. Thanks for writing. Thanks for asking whether Borges was serious or not.