Friday, June 1, 2012

Goodbyes; unexpected lessons

I said goodbye to some of my students today.

For the last twelve years, we've had an every-Friday anime-watching club. We watched all sorts of stuff... Brain melters, like Serial Experiments Lane and Boogiepop Phantom; full-on works of literature, like Gankutsuo; and laugh-riots like Ouran High School Host Club and, the way we concluded the year, Kamichu.

We had lots of fun, over the years.

Today, we ended the reign of the anime club; we took the wall scrolls down from the club room—excuse me, of course I mean "classroom". But I didn't just take my wall scrolls home; I gave them to the students. And I told them that continuing the club... was now their job.

Well, telling them that they were to have the scrolls—that caused many, very loud, squeals of joy.

The kids went off to lunch at a local Japanese restaurant. Then they came back to school, bearing a cake. I think it might have been someone's birthday, but mainly, they just wanted a cake. I made tea for them. Many laughs, lots of fun. Absolutely no darkness about how things were going to be different next year; they said they'd miss me, but we agreed that we would definitely be reconnecting. One of the kids even still has some of my DVDs; I told he she could keep them until we could find time this summer to go out to lunch, and she wholehartedly agreed.

Why do I bring this up? Because these wonderful young people have a wonderful way to say goodbye. Never was a head hung, never was a tear shed; yeah, it sucked that they had to say goodbye, but it was the end of the school year, and even fun things end. But that's OK, because there'll be a summer vacation, and then something new will be underway all too soon.

Well, we M.S.ers, we don't exactly have a "summer vacation" popping into our lives, providing something to look forward to. Not the way they do, at least... But we don't know the details of what's going to happen next [whatever], any more than they do. And yet, they don't simmer themselves in regret, or sorrow, or anything... except excitement about "what's next?"

It's sad when something wonderful ends. But something exciting and new awaits just around the corner.

A wonderful thing, such a beautiful lesson. Those whom I have taught so much this year, in our last moments together, are now teaching me.

There's a lot I won't miss, leaving this school. But the students... oh yes. Them, I'll miss. But to honor their last lesson... No regrets. A fun farewell, and then... what's next? Who knows?

We'll see. But ... we look forward to meeting "what's next." And when I can meet this particular challenge, as wholeheartedly as they do...

It's gonna be fun.

No comments: