So, yesterday was my last day with the kids....well, kind of. I'll be seeing a large number of them for summer school, but it's just not the same. Won't have the same one on one interaction, no classroom time, no more creative writing. I wouldn't doubt if there was some peer mediation, though. Anyways, yesterday was very special. My parents came to our closing banquet, and one of my favorite moments of the day included their interaction with one of my more "attached" students. She is extremly attached to me, to the point where she calls me Mother. Although she WILL be in summer school, she was very emotional yesterday. She was talking to my parents and I and said "It's going to be so painful when you leave! I'm so happy you were born!". My mom put her hands on my students shoulders and said "sweetheart, we want to see you graduate college. In fact, we'll come to your college graduation". My dad said to her "You'll be okay, you have to find the strength within YOU." It was so precious.
I got teary once, when I was saying goodbye to a student that I may not ever see again, unless I am able to visit the school next year...I am very attached to her because in the beginning of the year she was one of our biggest challenges, and now she's one of our greatest leaders, in large part due to peer mediation and one on one counseling. She has become a little sister to me...so that was very tough. The harder goodbyes are coming in three weeks when summer school is over. Wish me luck.
As students lined up with sad faces to give me goodbye hugs, bombarding me with yearbooks to sign, and passing me hand written letters full of gratitude for what I have done for them, I had to breathe it all in. It is very weird for me to have kids who look up to me...for a girl to tell me she is going to model her life after me, for another to tell me that I am one of God's special ones, etc. All my life I have been the one admiring other people and thanking them for getting me through tough times, and suddenly I am that person. I really hope that I can continue to make an impact on them, and that I have helped them in some way to know their self worth, to be strong, to KEEP GOING and to never give up- despite what other people in their life tell them. I will probably spend the rest of my life thinking about these kids and if they are making the right decisions. God, I hope so. If I could adopt each of them, I would. I just pray that I find a career where I can continue to work with this age group...because it was the most fulfilling job I have ever had.
In other news, I recently started making a "100 Things I Want to Do" list...in the midst of applying for jobs and saying goodbye to my kids, it was a little project I could focus on that was fun for me and got away from stress. I dsicovered the website 43things.com and picked 43 items from my list to put on the site. I am hoping that those who read my blog will help cheer me on in these challenges. So, if there is something on this list that you think you can help me with, whether it's advice or just emotional support, let me know. Let's talk.
1. go to an american idol finale
2. Discover MY life's purpose
3. release negative emotions
4. read the bible, cover to cover
5. take up a new sport
6. go on a writers' retreat
7. Go to a broadway musical in new York
8. Start a dance in a public place where everyone joins in
9. write down at least one thing that makes me happy every day
10. Go on a safari
11. adopt a pet from an animal shelter
12. dance on stage at a major concert
13. meet lady gaga
14. work for women of faith
15. visit the Holy Land
16. Read all 7 Harry Potter books cover to cover, back to back, one after the other with no interruptions!
17. defeat anxiety
18. Send my parents on their dream vacation
19. Sponsor a child
20. Write a letter to my future grandchildren, tell them what life was like in 2010. 21. be a big sister
22. Discover something that changes the world for the better
23. write a book
24. go to Disneyworld
25. Fall in love
26. create the soundtrack of my life
27. get a graduate degree
28. spend a week in complete silence
29. Visit Ireland
30. Achieve my ideal weight
31. get a song I've written on the radio
32. go on a cross country road trip
33. go on an overseas church mission
34. Live in Nashville
35. get something named after me
36. party with a rockstar.
37. Learn Spanish
38. develop a skill for photography
39. learn to play guitar
40. Become a vegetarian
41. walk a 1/2 marathon
42. be interviewed by Oprah
43. become a parent