Thursday things

  • It’s amazing how much I can get done when I actually remove the distractions (TV, YouTube, my phone, etc.)
  • Currently in class watching a documentary about inclusion that was actually filmed a few towns over. [And people in my class are laughing hysterically and acting like the girl in the video is some kind of monster. It bugs me that, in a room full of aspiring teachers, the stigma surrounding mental illness is alive and well. A lot of the things the girl in the documentary struggles with, I struggled with in middle school. Self-harm, self-destructive thoughts, anger, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem…among others. If things had gone differently in my life, in high school, I could’ve easily been in the situation she was in. Why can we watch a documentary about a little boy with cerebral palsy with tears in our eyes, and five minutes later, watch a documentary about a teenage girl with ADHD, depression, and emotional problems while muffling our laughter and rolling our eyes in disgust? I wouldn’t want anyone who passes that kind of judgment on human beings teaching my children…or teaching alongside me. My professor is actually contributing to the ridiculous laughter in the class by making comments like, “Would you want to be on the bus with her?”]
  • I saw one of my best friends today. It was wonderful and perfect. I miss her a lot- she doesn’t live that far away (~4 hours), but it’s far enough so that we don’t see each other as much as I’d like.
  • I am really considering law school in the (distant) future. I want to just start off teaching in a classroom and see where I want to go from there. I am so passionate about school law, though, particularly in the area of bullying and cyber-bullying. I think it’s because I was bullied badly in middle school and no adults in my school ever helped me to stop the bullying or even acknowledged it was happening. I want to prevent other kids from going through what I went through.
  • I think I’ve had too much caffeine today and my eye is twitching. Eek.
  • It feels weird writing a post without mentioning headaches…BUT (crosses fingers) I have been headache-free since Tuesday morning. It’s pretty remarkable, especially considering all the stormy and rainy weather we’ve been having.
  • I no longer have to do this thing I’ve been dreading for months this weekend. Yes, I feel badly about backing out of it- it was shitty of me. However, the relief I feel over not having to do it is pretty amazing- although I do recognize I should never have committed to it in the first place. And the reason I gave for not doing it- chronic migraine- is certainly true and legitimate.
  • With that being said, I’m looking forward to spending time with my family this weekend, getting work done, and resting.

Kindergarten graduation

Today I visited the kindergarten class I interned in for the last time. Tonight is their graduation. They will spend the summer at various camps, visiting family, and maybe even traveling to other countries. Then in the fall, they will all begin their next adventure: first grade. Small groups of 3 or 4 students might be at the same school or even in the same class, but for the most part, they will be apart, as they live in many different towns/neighborhoods.

I can’t attend the actual graduation ceremony because I have to work, so I chose the next best thing: the rehearsal. They filed in, sat down, sang a welcoming song, practiced receiving (student-created) awards, practiced receiving their diplomas, and sang their closing song. I almost cried during that last part. The closing song begins with the line, “See the sun setting in the sky. It’s time to end another day.”

While I was with them, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I probably will never see most of them again. How this special, unique group of children, with their various personalities, quirks, interests, and habits will never be together — all 18 of them — again. I thought about how short a school year really is, in the grand scheme of things. How difficult it is to say goodbye after just 190ish days. September always brings a new group of students, but no class is the same from year to year.

I will miss playing mancala and the secret word game with C. I will miss watching I draw her fashion designs. I will miss R’s enthusiasm for sharks. I will miss watching J and K try to run faster and faster during tag games. I will miss kicking a soccer ball around with M. I will miss just talking with E about her weekend. I will miss H and S’s insightful and creative¬†contributions to storytelling. I will miss dancing with J. I will miss our morning meetings, our songs, freeze dance, the block area, the treehouse, field trips, and most of all, our stories. The stories we read and the stories the children told, sometimes independently, more often in a group.

This kindergarten class was, for me, the first experience I ever had in a classroom on a regular basis. I know beyond any doubt that I was an important part of their learning and kindergarten experiences. I wonder if they will ever know how much I learned from them, and how unforgettable they are.