The 2012-2013 school year is over. Because we spent the last week administering final exams, grading final exams, and packing up our rooms and offices to be moved to the new school, it feels extra over. It was a bittersweet feeling – as the end of any school year feels – but both the bitterness and sweetness were palpable this time around…or was that just the soaring temperature and humidity due to the air conditioning being out? Hmm…
Westlake High School holds some very special memories for me. I came to WHS at a time in my life when I had given serious thought to giving up teaching due to a particularly tumultuous year at my previous district. Still, I decided new school, new start, and I gave my career a probationary year. Thank goodness I did! I found myself working in an amazing department full of very intelligent, incredibly strong, and super hilarious women (and one very patient man who has put up with all of our “feminine quirks” for the past several years). My closest friends are some of my coworkers, and I am a better teacher as a result of knowing and working with these fine people.
Over the course of my five years in Westlake, I have also met an assortment of outstanding students, some of whom are already young adults, out of college, and living in the “real world,” which is both heart-warming and horrifying to think about. I have stayed in touch with many of them (thank you social media) and it has been a great joy to hear about their successes. Some still come to me for help (with English and life), and it makes me feel good to know that they still think of me as their teacher, but also as their friend. I’ve been extremely lucky to have so many smart, talented, funny, inspiring, challenging, curious, eager, and kind young people cross my path, and I look forward to making new memories with new students in the new building.
Having said all of that, I am SO glad this year is over! We were handed a lot of challenges this year, and though we tackled each one head on, we are all exhausted from our efforts. It’s time for some good ol’ fashioned fun in the sun! The Summer of Glory has begun and for me it has started off with a bang.
Yesterday I rode my bike outside on the road for the first time since late July of last year. Words can barely do justice to how I felt. I was so thrilled to be clipped into my bike with a nice tailwind at my back that when I looked down, I realized I was cruising at 18 mph. I slowed down a bit so as not to kill my hip and legs on my first time back at it, but that rush of air whipping over my face was intoxicating nevertheless.
Best of all, today I was able to jog for the first time in over five months! Stephen felt I was ready to take the first step in getting me back on the road, which entailed quite a lot of equipment, but it was worth it. I had to be hooked into a harness that alleviated the weight of my body on my hip using an air compressor. He took off 50 lb. of my body weight, which had me feeling as though I was floating over the treadmill – I imagined it must be how Usain Bolt feels every time he runs. Still, with every light thud of my feet hitting the belt below, my smile and excitement grew. I must have looked like a complete idiot grinning ear-to-ear, dangling in what looks like a parachute harness, but it didn’t matter: I was running! I did five minutes, and though it was one of the shortest runs of my life, it was hands down one of the greatest.
Yes, this summer vacation is off to a particularly marvelous start. Honestly, I’m not sure how it could get any better…but I also have no problem waiting to see what the next three months may bring. Summer shenanigans!